If you’re suffering from chronic illness, consider a palliative care plan. Broadly defined, a chronic illness is a condition lasting greater than a 1 year; which requires ongoing medical attention or restricts a person’s daily activities. The goal of palliative care is to provide you with relief from the symptoms and stress caused by an illness; ultimately, improve your quality of life. Hospice, by contrast, provides palliative care services in the last months of your life. Too many people suffer in hospitals or nursing homes by not receiving the care consistent with their wishes.
A person living with a serious illness can state their preferences for care in a detailed plan, which might include options for pain management and other desires. As an example, you wish to pass away at home; at which time, the caregivers will immediately acknowledge your request and make every attempt to fulfill that desire.
Per the Get Palliative Care website, palliative care teams focus on quality of life. “They treat people suffering from the symptoms and stress of serious illnesses such as cancer, congestive heart failure (CHF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), kidney disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and many more.”
Palliative care can be provided by your doctor, but also in collaboration with specially-trained doctors, nurses, and specialist clinicians for principal care where there is no planned endpoint of the relationship. Together these individuals work to provide additional comfort and support for coordinated best results. This alignment gives you more control over the care regime and will improve your quality of life.
Fundamentally palliative care is focused on your wellness and comfort, not on your medical prognosis. Prospective patients are not restricted based on age or stage of illness. Additionally, care can be initiated at the time of diagnosis and provided in conjunction with a curative treatment.
“Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problems associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual.” – World Health Organization
HereToday’s Trusted Third Party Palliative Care Resources
- National Cancer Institute – Palliative Care
- National Institute of Aging
- Mayo Clinic – Palliative Care
- The New England Journal of Medicine – Palliative Care for the Seriously Ill
- WebMD – What is Palliative Care?
- World Health Organization – Palliative Care
How to Find Palliative Care Services
Any individual, in any setting or circumstance, with severe illness who needs pain and symptom management can benefit from palliative care. As a medical patient, simply request your primary doctor for a referral to palliative care. At no time do you have to give up the relationship with your regular doctors to receive palliative care services.
According to the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC), Get Palliative Care’s Palliative Care Provider Directory is the most comprehensive online directory of hospital and community palliative care programs nationwide. This directory helps patients, families, and health care providers find local palliative care providers.
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