Health & DietWHEN IS PALLIATIVE CARE APPROPRIATE?

WHEN IS PALLIATIVE CARE APPROPRIATE?

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Palliative care appropriate is an expanding medical specialty. There is still significant misunderstanding about what palliative care is, what it entails, who should receive it, and why? Palliative care aims to improve the quality of life for those with life-threatening or life-altering illnesses. They are sometimes referred to as supportive care. Palliative care aims to improve the patient’s physical, emotional, spiritual, and social well-being.

What is palliative care?

Palliative care focuses on enhancing the overall health of those with terminal illnesses. It treats both the symptoms and stress associated with chronic illness. It may also involve assistance for family members or caretakers.

  • Because it is individualized, palliative care can vary significantly from person to person. A care plan may contain one or more of the following objectives:
  • relieving symptoms, including therapeutic side effects
  • enhancing understanding of disease progression
  • recognizing and meeting material and spiritual requirements
  • assisting with coping with feelings and changes associated with illness
  • assisting with understanding treatment options, treatment decision-making, and care coordination
  • discovering and gaining access to extra assistance resources

Palliative care instances

Palliative care is a viable alternative for a variety of diseases. The following are some of the most prevalent conditions where palliative care can be very beneficial:

  • cancer
  • cardiovascular diseases
  • dementia
  • COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

When dealing with a major illness, individuals and their families may require additional assistance with medical or emotional matters. Palliative care at San Mateo offers this additional support.

Why didn’t we choose palliative care earlier? This is a common sentiment expressed by patients and family members who have received palliative care. Frequently, family members tell us they delayed care because they did not understand the specialization or when care was necessary.

It is essential to realize that anyone can suggest someone for hospice or palliative care to improve their own or a loved one’s quality of life.

Palliative care is appropriate for patients of any age and at any stage of their illness, whereas curative treatment is ongoing and may begin at the moment of diagnosis. This specialist medical care assists with pain management, symptom management, and stress reduction while individuals receive the necessary therapy for their illness. It is most effective when included in the patient’s care plan as early as feasible in the progression of the condition.

Those with a serious disease and a life expectancy of six months or less are eligible for hospice care. At its core is an interdisciplinary team that develops an individualized plan of care based on the patient’s and their family’s priorities. It is essential to undergo an assessment and initiate hospice care as soon as possible, as research indicates that hospice treatment may also increase life expectancy. Unfortunately, most individuals wait until it is too late to receive many hospice care benefits.

Indicators that it may be time to determine if hospice or palliative care is appropriate for you or a loved one:

  • Unexplained weight reduction
  • Spending more time in bed or a chair reduces alertness and increases time spent sleeping.
  • More frequent falls
  • Increased demand for medicines due to pain or symptom uncontrollability
  • Insufficiency of breath
  • Difficulties with daily living activities include showering, getting out of bed, dressing, walking, preparing, and eating meals.
  • Increased emergency department visits and frequent hospitalizations

When is palliative care appropriate?

There are several factors to consider while determining if palliative care is the proper form of assistance for a patient. There may be an initial discussion with your healthcare team about the care you need to manage your illness and live your life as you choose. Possible discussion topics include:

What kind of disease you have and the possible treatments – Although you may not be given a definite prognosis for how long you will have your condition and whether or not you will die from it, it is vital to learn what symptoms you can expect and what treatment choices are available so that you can make educated decisions. Once you have determined how to proceed and your illness is not immediately life-threatening, palliative care can be implemented to assist you in coping with treatment and daily activities.

Your desires and anticipations – You may opt to undergo a course of treatment, only to discover that the adverse effects are intolerable and you would prefer to discontinue treatment altogether. Alternatively, you may elect to begin treatment after managing your illness first without medication. You must direct your care, regardless of your decisions or how often they change. At MelodiaCare, we design our palliative care support plans for the individual and their preferences so that you only receive help cantered on you and are adaptable to your specific need.

Misconceptions regarding palliative care

Palliative care is frequently associated with related phrases, such as hospice care and end-of-life care, and is sometimes considered to be the same sort of care. All three are distinct; palliative care is an umbrella word that incorporates end-of-life and hospice care.

Numerous more widespread misunderstandings concerning palliative care include:

If I require palliative care, I will be admitted to a hospice.

If your illness worsens, you may need to enter a hospice or get hospice care at home, but receiving palliative care does not automatically indicate you will need to. You may require palliative care to assist with your symptoms and pain management if you have a treatable chronic condition, but you may recover and not require hospice care.

Palliative care indicates my imminent death.

You are eligible for palliative treatment at any stage of your disease. Some patients receive palliative care as soon as they are diagnosed or begin therapy, while others may not receive it until the later stages of their illness. Some people receive palliative care for years if they have a chronic illness, while others may not die at all while receiving palliative care. It depends greatly on the sort of ailment you have and the treatment you select.

If I receive palliative care, I will no longer be seen by professionals familiar with my specific health condition.

Palliative care can be administered with other curative treatments and therapies. You may receive radiotherapy for cancer, but you will also receive palliative care for pain management and assistance with household tasks and personal care.

Palliative care is not for loved ones.

Although palliative care places the patient at the centre, their family and friends are heavily involved in their care. We recognize how difficult it can be for your loved ones to manage your illness, so we also offer assistance to them.

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