If you have a loved one with a critical illness, this is understandably a difficult, emotional, and stressful time for the entire family. It can be a challenge to care for your loved one, especially if you have to cope with immense feelings yourself. Fortunately, there is a solution which can benefit everyone: palliative care. Palliative care is care given to a patient who has a critical condition and who may not have long to live. Whilst curative care (such as surgery, chemotherapy, and other treatments meant to cure a condition and address its cause) is still essential, palliative care is equally crucial as well. Here are the essential reasons why palliative care is beneficial to your loved one – and your family.
The benefits of palliative care
Whilst your loved one can always rely on trained nurses and an entire team of physicians and specialists, there is something to be said about a palliative care caregiver who can be there and provide much-needed emotional care and support during this trying time. A caregiver will often work closely with physicians, nurses, and other palliative care specialists in order to bring not only professional care and assistance, but also emotional support as well as understanding.
What you can expect with palliative care
Palliative care addresses a broad range of care and support, not only physical, but also emotional and mental. Palliative care is designed to deal with issues associated with anxiety, confusion, and depression and fatigue. It is also designed to address physical issues such as diarrhoea, constipation, breathing difficulties, pain, sleeping problems, weakness, a lack of appetite, and other physical symptoms associated with an individual’s condition or illness.
Palliative care caregivers are there to provide support even to other family members, especially when it comes to stress, fear, and other concerns.
The types of palliative care
If you have ever heard of hospice care, which is care for someone who has a life expectancy of less than six months, this is considered a form of palliative care. Palliative care can also take on the form of therapeutic massages for cancer patients, and it can also come in the form of counselling and advice, not only when it comes to personal concerns, but also when it comes to questions of belief or faith. Palliative care can be offered in conjunction with curative care, or it can be offered independently for patients who do not have long to live.
Palliative care at home is a much-welcomed service, especially for terminal patients, as they can be in their own familiar environment and still experience the comforts of home. It is a boon to family members as well, since they don’t have to deal with hospital visits and outside distractions. With at-home palliative care, the family can be at ease and find more comfort during a difficult period.