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Jul 5, 2022 11:00:00 AM | 5 Min Read

What Is Palliative Care?

Posted By Vista Springs
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What Is Palliative Care?

If you or your loved one has serious health issues or is diagnosed with a long-term condition, palliative care may be right for you. This type of care can provide the comfort you need during these challenging times. Not only does this care benefit the one with the illness or disease, but there are also advantages for families and caregivers.

In this post, we'll discuss palliative care, including what it means, how it works, and some critical factors to consider.

Palliative Care Defined

Palliative care is high-level care for those living with severe medical conditions. These health problems are often life-threatening, such as heart failure or cancer. As this can be a scary time for individuals and their families, palliative care is designed to provide comfort and specialized treatment to ease symptoms. Also, it's important to note that this type of care isn't only for those nearing the end of their life. Some individuals can still receive treatment when there is a cure for their condition.

Palliative Care & Senior Living

Nursing facilities, outpatient palliative care clinics, and hospitals often provide palliative care. However, it's also common to see this service in assisted living communities. As seniors may spend several years living in these facilities, staying in-house for palliative care is typically more comfortable for the individual. Also, this usually means these patients can continue to work with the same care team they're familiar with. These nurses and medical specialists may understand the individual's needs and may also have a strong connection with them. This connection can lead to a more comfortable, less stressful experience for the patient.

5 Things To Know About Palliative Care

Palliative care is far different from other medical treatments and services. Here are five things to know about palliative care:

You'll have a whole team by your side

Palliative care consists of multiple specialists focused on the needs of the patient. These experts work with the individual, their family, and other doctors to determine the best treatment options. This palliative team also focuses on giving you the support you need during these difficult times. Whether it's medical, emotional, or social support, these specialists are here to help every step. A palliative team typically consists of specialized doctors, nurses, nutritionists, and social workers.

Care can be provided in multiple settings

One of the leading benefits of this type of care is that it can happen in several locations. This list includes nursing homes, hospitals, outpatient palliative care clinics, senior living communities, other specialized facilities, and private residences.

This level of flexibility provides more trust and comfort for the patient. As this can be an emotional and stressful time for these individuals, they deserve to receive care wherever they're most comfortable.

Palliative care is different from hospice care

Many people believe palliative care is the same thing as hospice care. However, there are a few differences to consider. The main difference is that hospice care is designed for patients nearing the end of their life. Palliative care, on the other hand, is focused on care for those who may still find treatment for their condition.

Hospice care provides comfort, support, and improved quality of life for those suffering from a terminal illness. During palliative care treatment, patients may move to hospice if their condition cannot be cured.

Care has the potential to relieve symptoms

One of the main goals of palliative care is to reduce symptoms. Not only does this help individuals with their everyday life, but it may also improve their ability to undergo certain medical treatments.

Here are the common symptoms treated with palliative care:

  • Pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Bowel or bladder problems
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness
  • Depression
  • Sleeping problems
  • Coughing
  • Mental confusion

Palliative care can start at any stage of illness, but many people choose this care immediately after receiving a diagnosis. The sooner you start, the better.

Palliative care is becoming more popular

Palliative care has been increasing in popularity over the last 15 years. Thousands of hospitals and medical facilities currently offer these services. While palliative care is typically only provided in hospitals, it's now seen in senior living communities, nursing homes, and other community settings.

Another benefit of this type of care is that it can sometimes lead to lower costs for the patient. Undergoing palliative care might mean fewer trips to the emergency room, which can help you save thousands.

Many people undergoing palliative care feel they're recognized as a person by their care team — not just a patient. If you or your loved one is dealing with a life-threatening condition, palliative care may be a step in the right direction.

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