Palliative Care is a relatively unknown term in the healthcare field. Many times it is associated with end of life care, but its purpose is much greater than that.
Geriatric Care Managers / Health Care Advocates can educate you on the different options available to increase your comfort and ensure peace of mind.
Not sure exactly what Palliative Care means? Read about the top 6 reasons to seek out this type of help when you or a loved one has a serious illness:
- Palliative Care is meant to provide the right type of medication for your specific type of disease and symptoms resulting in better pain management and improved overall comfort and well-being. It’s tailored to each patient / their family and helps to understand how the patient’s disease affects them physically, mentally and emotionally.
- Palliative Care should occur EARLY on in the disease process to stay ahead of the negative side effects of treatment options. Don’t wait until you can’t “handle it” anymore. Speak up early and often to stay comfortable.
- Are you unsure if you qualify for comfort care while battling your illness? Ask! Cancer, severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), advanced congestive heart failure (CHF), pulmonary hypertension, end-stage renal disease, and neurodegenerative diseases (eg, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Huntington disease) are just a few of the diseases patients have who ask for a Palliative Care consult to manage their symptoms and pain.
- Comfort care teams look beyond prescribing medication to help you through a severe illness. They are professionals who survey all aspects of what you’re going through: pain, anxiety, depression, delirium, fatigue, lack of mobility, nausea, etc. They look at the total package: physical, mental, psychological, spiritual and social to help you find solutions to your symptoms.
- Patient-centered care is at the heart of Palliative Care: this primary focus will increase your satisfaction, help you complete therapy and improve health outcomes. When strong emotions are in play, never underestimate the kindness professionals provide and the right encouragement needed to get you through a tough situation.
- Studies have shown that when you are engaged in discussions about your (or your loved one’s) illness, wishes, benefits and burdens regarding treatment plans, you’ll make better decisions about the healthcare you receive. Palliative Care is not about end of life decisions, it’s about living your best life now.
To find out more about Palliative Care through the Minnesota Network of Hospice and Palliative Care agency, click on the links below: