Dealing with a serious or life-limiting illness goes far beyond treatments, surgeries, and hospital visits. Serious illnesses can impact the daily life of the individual and their families and cause a significant amount of stress and upset.
Palliative care is a way of managing and alleviating some of the mental and physical symptoms that can come with having a serious illness.
If you or a loved one are dealing with a serious illness, here is everything you should know about palliative care and why it may be a good option for you.
What is Palliative Care?
Primary care focuses on curing or treating the illness; however, palliative care treats the symptoms that can occur due to the illness or as a result of the primary care. The goal of palliative care is to improve the quality of life of individuals living with a life-limiting or serious illness by minimizing the pain and stress that come with illness.
At-home Palliative Care caregivers are trained compassionate Personal Support Workers (PSWs) and Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs). Palliative care services are meant to be combined with primary treatments, such as chemotherapy. Services include:
- Massage therapy
- Wound care
- Dementia care
- Meal preparation
- Playing games and engaging in conversation
Palliative care caregivers also provide emotional and mental health support. Having a serious illness can be very difficult to deal with mentally, and it is not uncommon for things like depression or anxiety to develop as a result. This is why a focus on mental health care is critical for those who have a serious illness.
Who is Palliative Care For?
Anyone with a serious or life-limiting illness can benefit from palliative care. This includes, but is not limited to, those with cancer, Parkinson’s disease, kidney failure, heart problems, Alzheimer’s, or Dementia. No matter what stage of illness you or your loved one is at, palliative care can offer support to both the individual with the illness and their family. This means that you do not have to be in the terminal stages of your illness to receive care.
If you or a loved one are suffering from a serious illness, you should consider talking to a doctor about palliative care. Symptoms that may benefit from palliative care include pain, fatigue, depression, nausea, anxiety, and sleep issues. By managing these symptoms, receiving primary care becomes more manageable.
How is At-Home Palliative Care Different Than Assisted Living?
Having a serious illness can take away one’s independence and sense of self, and this is only amplified when individuals have to move into an assisted living facility. When so much is being taken away from you due to your illness, the last thing you want is to leave the comfort of your own home and be separated from those who love and support you.
At-home palliative care brings care services to you so that living at home is possible and you don’t have to uproot your life because of your illness. Not only is it a much more familiar option, but it also allows the end of life to be more peaceful, comfortable, and dignified.