An approach that aims at improving quality of life of patient sand their families associated with life threatening illnesses. This is usually through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and management of pain and other problems e.g physical, psychosocial and spiritual.
PRINCIPLES OF PALLIATIVE CARE.
- Palliative care provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms.
- It affirms life and regards death as a normal process
- It intends neither to hasten nor postpones death.
- It intergrates the psychological and spiritual aspects of patient care.
- It offers a support system to help patients live as actively as possible until death.
- Enhances the quality of life and may also positively influence the course of illness.
- It also helps patients stay on track within their health care goals.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PALLIATIVE AND HOSPICE CARE.
In most cases, the two confuse many but they differ as below;
- They both provide comfort but palliative care can begin at diagnosis and at the same time as treatment while hospice care can begin after the treatment is stopped and when its clear that the person is not going to survive the illness.
- Cancer and its treatment often cause side effects therefore while treating the cancer is important, so is relieving side effects and symptoms and these happen at the same time so this is palliative/ supportive care.
- Palliative care works best when started as soon as you need it during the treatment process. Patients who receive palliative care along with treatment often have less severe symptoms, better quality of life and are more satisfied with treatment. You may have palliative care at any age and for any type and stage of illness.
TYPES OF PALLIATIVE CARE.
Social palliative care. This helps you plan a family meeting, suggest ways to organize individuals who may want to help and also helps you find medical information.
Emotional palliative care. This helps to cope with emotions e.g sadness, anxiety, stress and anger.
Mental palliative care. This includes exercises, counselling, meditation and medication to help with anxiety, depression and sleep-related problems.
Financial palliative care. This will help you discuss with you health care team about the cost of care, explain billing, help you apply for medical leave and help you find programs that provide free/ low cost medicines.