Living With Dignity: What to Know About Palliative Care

by • September 30, 2021 • Health, HealthcareComments (0)317

Palliative care is for people and their loved ones who face the challenges of having a life-limiting illness. Doctors prescribe it to patients in addition to the other harsh medical treatments, such as chemotherapy, to help alleviate painful symptoms and side effects. 

It’s an interdisciplinary healthcare approach performed by professional healthcare caregivers and Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs). The goal is to enhance the quality of life in a dignified manner for people with life-limiting illnesses through professional, compassionate pain management practices, and personal support work.

Do you know someone who has recently been diagnosed with a chronic disease? Read on to learn why palliative care will provide comfort to your loved one during a challenging time. 

Who Qualifies for Palliative Care?

If your loved one has any of the following illnesses, consider talking to their doctor about incorporating palliative care into their healthcare plan:

  • Dementia 
  • Cancer
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Arthritis
  • Kidney Failure
  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Lung Disease
  • And any other chronic or life-limiting disease

Whether your friend or family member has recently been diagnosed or been living with the disease for a while, they can receive palliative care services. Palliative care provides emotional and physical support to people at any stage of an illness and can work alongside other medical treatments.

How It Works 

Palliative care is a holistic approach to alleviating the painful stressors of living with a life-limiting disease. It encourages a higher quality of life by focusing on four primary areas:

  • Physical Pain and Well-Being
  • Emotional and Mental Health
  • Personal Support (such as meal preparation, light housework, and companionship)
  • Helping to Meet Spiritual Needs (such as arranging a meeting with a spiritual or religious advisor)

Your loved one will have a team of caregivers and RPNs who will monitor their symptoms and provide pain relief — through massage therapy, physiotherapy, prescription medication management, and other pain-relieving methods — on a rotating basis. They’ll also be there to provide emotional support and suggest therapy or counselling if needed. 

A palliative caregiving team will also improve the communication between your friend or family member and their primary healthcare providers by acting as their advocates and most prominent supporters. They’ll regularly talk to your loved one’s doctors about their symptoms, needs, and concerns, so you won’t have to worry that their voice isn’t being heard. 

At-Home Care 

Did you know that you can receive palliative care at home — 24 hours a day? Instead of leaving home to move into a long-term care home or hospital, your loved one can have professional caregivers and RPNs come straight to them. Find a healthcare agency that offers such services so that your friend or family member can receive the benefits of palliative care without even having to leave the house.

Learning that you have a life-limiting illness isn’t something anyone should do alone, and palliative care provides the necessary support from loving professionals that your loved one will need throughout this challenging time. 

Knowing that there’s always a helpful, compassionate hand to hold will give both you and your loved one comfort and peace of mind.

Photo credit: Askar Abayev via Pexels

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