You may be familiar with the term “palliative care” but aren’t entirely sure what it entails. Some people think of it as hospice care, while others may recognize that it’s a type of healthcare to help treat individuals with life-limiting illnesses. In its simplest terms, palliative care is the interdisciplinary healthcare approach focused on increasing the quality of life and lessening the discomfort and suffering among people with critical illnesses.
If you or someone you love has recently been diagnosed with a critical illness, such as cancer, dementia, Parkinson’s Disease, or COVID-19, receiving palliative care can make your lives significantly more manageable.
Palliative care works alongside other medical treatments you'll receive, such as radiation therapy. Your palliative care team will assist with pain management, emotional and mental wellbeing, spiritual needs you might have, and the physical symptoms of the harsh medical medications and treatments.
To help you understand what to expect before you start palliative care, we've compiled a list of all the facts you'll need to know.
Palliative Care Enhances Your Quality of Life
Often, people immediately associate palliative care with end-of-life. However, this is untrue. While people do utilize palliative care to treat the side effects caused by life-limiting illnesses, it's a treatment that you can receive at any time throughout the illness — not just at the end of life. It’s a type of care that provides comfort and an increased quality of life from professional, trained, and compassionate caregivers.
The necessary treatments for serious illnesses can be harsh on your physical and emotional wellbeing. The palliative care approach helps reduce psychological and physical pain by compassionately considering each challenge you may experience. The right palliative care experts will provide healthcare directly in your home.
They'll offer life-enhancing services such as massage therapy from Registered Massage Therapists (RMT)s, cooking, cleaning, and other personal support services. They will talk with you about receiving therapy or counselling to help you get through this challenging time in the comfort of home.
You Can Receive Palliative Care for a Multitude of Serious Illnesses
Some people believe that palliative care is a type of treatment for cancer patients only. While this is true, it's also beneficial to people with any life-limiting illness. Such intimate care can help reduce or relieve any life-limiting disease's physical and emotional side effects and symptoms.
Your palliative care team will closely monitor your pain symptoms and manage your prescription medications. They will help you by providing physiotherapy and other gentle exercises to keep you moving. When you work with the right home healthcare agency, you or your loved one will develop a close relationship with empathetic professionals who will always be there to offer support, kindness, and medical treatment at any time of day or night.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with a chronic illness — regardless of whether it’s cancer or not — ask them about the benefits of palliative care. They’ll be more than happy to discuss its advantages and how it can help you feel comfortable and improve your quality of life.
Receiving news of a chronic illness is never easy, but it doesn’t have to feel impossible. Consider incorporating palliative care into your healthcare routine to get the life you deserve.