Palliative Care is Critical – Here’s Why
Let’s illustrate this with a story…
One day, John Doe received the news at 25 years of age, that he had cancer! It was a very treatable form of cancer and was caught at a very early stage. Treatment would include radiation therapy as well as chemo. With what seemed like his entire life ahead of him, John moved forward optimistically with both treatments to fight this battle.
Treatment or Torture?
As time went on and he started his treatments, John found that the side effects of both treatments were so challenging to go through that he considered stopping them and living the rest of his life to the fullest as possible. He was done…done with the nausea, done with the pain, done with it all. He had one more appointment to exit his treatments and move forward with what was left of his life.
During this final appointment, he was asked if the side effects were tolerable, would he continue to fight this cancer battle. Without question, John agreed! So, the doctor prescribed John with medications to get him through his treatments. John is now cancer free and moving forward with his life.
What is Palliative Care?
So, what does John’s story have to do with Palliative care? Everything! Palliative care is comfort care that provides relief from symptoms and stresses that are associated with illness and/or injury. 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.
Palliative care is a certified medical specialty that focuses on comfort care, symptom management, and pain relief. Most people have received Palliative care during treatment for a variety of conditions.
Why is Palliative Care Important?
In the story above, it is easy to see the turning points. John was ready to give up even though he had a treatable cancer…WHY? Why would he choose to give up the fight and just accept the story that cancer was trying to write? Palliative care is what changed John Doe’s story from “The End” to “To Be Continued…”. John’s story is still being written thanks to Palliative care.
Remarkably enough, cancer or hospice patients aren’t the only ones that Palliative care can help or is intended for. Everyone – whether you are managing a newly diagnosed illness, recovering from an injury, or have undiscovered health issues – can benefit from Palliative care.
Benefits of Palliative Care
Living life in pain or discomfort is well, uncomfortable and can add unnecessary strain and stress to any situation. When a loved one is recovering or battling an illness, their family and primary caregivers feel the strain too. However, diminishing pain and ensuring their comfort benefits everyone, not just the patient.
Including Palliative care while receiving treatment allows for an improved quality of life for both the patient, family, and caregivers while relieving symptoms and suffering for the patient.
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.
Palliative care is for everyone…not just patients but also caregivers. If you have more questions about Palliative care, please contact us today!