What Is Palliative Care?
The goal of palliative care is to help people with serious illness have a better quality of life. PC providers manage symptoms and side effects of a pt's advanced illness. Palliative care also provides a pt. with much needed education regarding advance directives, their disease and its prognosis. Emotional, social, practical, and spiritual problems also arise and are managed with social work and chaplaincy involvement as necessary.
Palliative care can be given concurrently as treatments meant to cure or treat the disease. Palliative care may be given when the illness is diagnosed, throughout treatment, during follow-up, and at the end of life. Some concurrent treatments are dialysis, radiation, chemotherapy, home health and community long term care (CLTC).
Palliative care may be offered for people with illnesses, such as:
ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)
While receiving palliative care, people can remain under the care of their regular doctor and still receive treatment for their disease.
Palliative care may be offered/suggested by hospital case managers, home care agencies, cancer centers, and long-term care facilities. A concerned family member can also request that a loved be evaluated for Palliative care services.
The Difference Between Palliative Care and Hospice
Both palliative care and hospice care provide comfort. But palliative care can begin at diagnosis, and at the same time as treatment. Hospice care begins after treatment of the disease is stopped and when their physician has given a 6 month or less prognosis. The physician must provide a written order of this to the hospice of the patient's choosing before services can be rendered.
What Are some symptoms Palliative Care providers help manage?
Shortness of breath
Loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea and constipation