Understanding Palliative Care: Important Things You Need to Know
It can be overwhelming and stressful for patients dealing with terminal illness and their families. Palliative care can be an effective solution in dealing with such stresses that come with terminal illness. It is a care approach that provides support and comfort to those who are experiencing a serious illness, whether it be cancer, dementia, stroke, or any other chronic condition. Let's understand this approach better, compare this with other forms of care and debunk some myths associated with Palliative care.
What is End of Life Care?
End of life care is a type of palliative care that is provided to someone who is in the final stages of a terminal illness who are estimated to have a life expectancy of 12 months or less. The focus of end of life care is to ensure that the person is as comfortable as possible, and that their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs are met. It also offers emotional support to family members and caregivers, helping them understand the signs and symptoms associated with the end stages of a loved one's life. End of life care is often provided by hospice organisations or palliative care teams.
Are Palliative Care and End of Life Care the Same?
Palliative care and end of life care are not the same. While end of life care is a type of palliative care, palliative care is not exclusively for those who are at the end of their life. Palliative care can be provided at any stage of an illness, from diagnosis through to treatment and beyond.
What is Hospice Care?
Hospice care is a type of end of life care that is provided to those who are in the final stages of a terminal illness. Hospice care is focused on providing comfort and support, rather than attempting to cure the illness. Hospice care can be provided in a hospice care facility, at the patient's home, or in a hospital.
What is the Difference Between Palliative Care and Hospice Care?
While both palliative care and hospice care focus on providing comfort and support, there is a key difference. Palliative care can be provided at any stage of an illness, and is often provided alongside curative treatments. Hospice care, on the other hand, is typically provided in the final stages of a terminal illness, and the focus is on providing comfort rather than attempting to cure the illness.
Myths about Palliative Care
There are many myths surrounding palliative care, which can make it difficult for people to access the care they need. Here are some of the most common myths:
Palliative care is only for patients who have terminal illness.
Palliative care can be given to anyone with a serious illness, regardless of the prognosis. Palliative care can help manage symptoms and improve the quality of life for patients who are receiving treatment for their illness, even if they are expected to recover.
Palliative care means giving up on treatment.
Palliative care is not about giving up on treatment, but rather about improving the patient's quality of life. Patients can continue to receive treatment for their illness while also receiving palliative care to manage symptoms and improve their overall well-being.
Palliative care is only for elderly patients.
Palliative care can be given to anyone with a serious illness, regardless of their age. Patients of any age who are living with a serious illness can benefit from palliative care to help manage symptoms and improve their quality of life.
Palliative care is only provided in a hospital or hospice.
Palliative care can be provided in a variety of settings, including the person's home, a nursing home, or a hospital.
Read more on Understanding the Five Stages of Palliative Care and and how it can help meeting care needs for you and your loved ones
Palliative care is an important aspect of healthcare that provides support and comfort to those who are facing a serious illness. By understanding the different types of palliative care and hospice care, as well as the benefits of palliative care, you can ensure that you or your loved one receive the care and support you need. Don't let myths and misconceptions prevent you from accessing the care you need - reach out to your healthcare provider today to learn more about palliative care options in your area.