Palliative care is an approach that aims to help a patient diagnosed with a terminal illness. This help comes in the form of pain relief, holistic measures, care and attention to a patient’s symptoms and more. The overall goal is to improve quality of life. The goal of palliative care is not to cure, treat or otherwise delay the disease.
The palliative care definition comes from the root of the word, which means “cloak” in Latin. Palliative care attempts to cloak the disease from a patient in easier surroundings and relieve suffering. This approach may be performed at the same time as more specific illness treatment, palliative care is not dependent on a prognosis.
The difference between hospice and palliative care is that a hospice is focused specifically on terminally ill patients, including those with terminal cancer. A hospice will provide palliative care, but not generally treatment for a disease that has been pronounced terminal. Palliative care, on the other hand, can be given anywhere at any time, even from initial diagnosis, and may work at the same time as curative treatment.
Palliative care nursing provides a range of services. The nurses, doctors and care workers will try to provide ongoing information about the disease and the measures they are and will take to make life easier. At the same time they will advise and talk through possible alternative treatment options, and provide a helping hand through the healthcare system. Support for the patient and family is key, and the nursing staff will strive to provide the support required.
One of the main aspects of palliative care is that the staff will be experts at treating symptoms common to terminally ill patients. They will provide excellent pain relief. The nursing staff will be able to provide food and surroundings prepared to make life easier. This will include easing breathing and relaxing a patient. Palliative care works in the presence and with the help of loved ones, and the staff will be pleased to support family and friends in looking after the patient, and preparing all close to the patient for what comes next.
For terminal cancer patients, palliative care will be a hugely important aspect of life. Cancer, in its many forms, is virulent and sometimes painful. Palliative care workers will know how to manage this, as well as helping the patient and loved ones through all of the symptoms and any suffering these may cause.
Palliative care may be performed anywhere. A patient with terminal cancer may wish to spend time at home, and a care specialist can be there at all times to help, assist and relieve symptoms. Caring for a terminally ill loved one is extremely tiring and emotionally exhausting. Palliative care with the support of trained professionals, often in close contact with a patient’s doctor and hospice, will make life easier at this troubling time.
Your doctor, hospital or hospice will have more terminal cancer palliative care information as you desire, I hope this guide has been useful.