PALLIATIVE CARE – SYMPTOM MANAGEMENT TO IMPROVE QUALITY OF LIFE.
Palliative care is comfort care that provides relief from symptoms and stresses that are associated with serious or life-limiting illnesses. Working with a patient’s healthcare team and specialists, Palliative care focuses on addressing the physical, emotional, spiritual and social needs of the patient while recovering or receiving treatment.
WHAT IS PALLIATIVE CARE
Palliative care is a certified medical specialty that focuses on comfort care, symptom management and pain relief. Most people have received palliative care during a course of treatment for a variety of conditions. A commonly used example to describe palliative care is that of a broken bone. The bone is treated by applying a cast and prescription medicine is ordered to help with pain and discomfort. In this example, the cast is curative and restorative, while the medicine is palliative and improves the quality of your life while you recover.
WHEN TO RECEIVE PALLIATIVE CARE
Because palliative care is provided in conjunction with other types of care, it can be started and provide benefits at the time of diagnosis, during treatment or follow-up, and at the end of life. Most often, palliative care is provided while you are being treated for a serious illness, progressive or chronic disorders, skeletal, muscular, or neurological conditions, and cancer.
Medicare and private insurance cover most types of palliative care, but co-pays for some treatments or medications that are not covered may occur. Coverage may also be subject to the location where care is being provided whether that be in a Hospital, Facility or at home.
BENEFITS OF PALLIATIVE CARE
When a loved one is recovering or battling an illness, their family and primary caregivers feel the strain. However, if that loved one’s pain is diminished and they are comfortable, then care tasks and responsibilities become easier and everyone benefits. Caregiver stress and anxiety is a growing concern as more people receive care at home. It’s been shown that when a patient receives palliative care, their family caregiver experiences more stamina, better sleep patterns and improved social interactions.