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what is palliative care and is it right for me

The Benefits of Palliative and Hospice Care

Many people confuse palliative care with hospice, but the two terms aren’t synonymous. 

This article aims to explain what each type of care includes, its benefits, and when it might be appropriate for you or your loved one.

Palliative Care: What is it?

Palliative care is specialized care for someone living with a severe illness. Palliative care aims to provide comfort in conjunction with life-saving treatments. As part of palliative care, a person is relieved of the symptoms and stress of their illness and the side effects of treatment. The goal is to improve the quality of life for the patient and those close to them.

Physicians, nurses, social workers, counselors, and chaplains are among those who provide palliative care. Patients are treated according to their needs and not according to their prognosis. Palliative care can be provided regardless of an individual’s age and illness stage. 

Among the conditions treated by palliative care are: 

  • Pain management
  • Nausea, appetite loss, or other digestive issues
  • Breathing issues
  • Mental health
  • Patient and family education
  • Help with finding information and services (such as support groups)
  • Respite care for family caregivers

The Benefits of Palliative Care

Palliative care has many benefits. Overall, the benefits are that it improves the patient’s quality of life, allowing them to enjoy life even as they are seriously ill. You can reduce the symptoms of the illness or treatment by focusing on the patient’s comfort, allowing them to enjoy life more. You can also tailor your treatment options to fit your goals with palliative care, which gives you a greater sense of control over your care. 

As well as providing extra support, palliative care offers collaboration with your other doctors. Palliative care teams assist both patients and families, providing educational services, respite care, or even being there for the grieving process. During your care, your care team will communicate with all the doctors involved, helping you every step of the way.

Additionally, recent studies have shown that patients who receive palliative care during their treatment have a better quality of life and are less likely to experience depression.  

What is Hospice Care?

Palliative care and hospice care share the goal of providing comfort to patients. Still, hospice care is offered to patients with six months or less prognosis. In hospice care, all life-saving treatments are stopped, and the patient is allowed to live out their final days in comfort.  

Like palliative care, hospice care is provided by a team of medical professionals, a chaplain, a social worker, and a counselor. The primary focus is on comfort and relief from symptoms and supporting emotional and mental health and spiritual needs. The only difference between palliative and hospice care is that palliative care is provided alongside life-saving treatments. In contrast, hospice care occurs when life-saving treatments are no longer necessary.  

The Benefits of Hospice Care

Although hospice care is associated with death, it is truly a celebration of life. Patients are provided with comfort in that they can reminisce with family, say their goodbyes, and make amends. While your care team makes sure you are as comfortable as possible, you can spend your final days doing things that make you happy rather than staying in treatment. 

Patients’ families and caregivers are also supported by hospice care.  

When is Palliative Care Right for Me?

Patients suffering from a severe illness receiving life-saving treatments receive palliative care. A palliative care program may be the right choice for you if you are experiencing symptoms of your illness, stress caused by your illness, or side effects from your treatment.

The following are just a few of the severe illnesses that palliative patients may suffer from: 

  • Cancer
  • Congestive heart failure
  • COPD
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Parkinson’s
  • ALS
  • Liver disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Stroke

When is Hospice Care Needed?

Patients who have less than six months to live receive hospice care. Their doctors must refer them to hospice. Upon choosing an agency, the patient is evaluated to determine whether they are ready for hospice. Care begins as soon as the patient is admitted to hospice.  

Receiving Palliative and Hospice Care at Home

Both palliative care and hospice care can be provided at home. If you or your loved one requires palliative or hospice care at home. In that case, My Essence Hom Care offers high-quality care to those in the King of Prussia and surrounding areas. Contact us today for a Free Consultation

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