What is Palliative Care?
Palliative care is specialized care for those with an acute or chronic illness and is focused on symptom management and stress relief. Patients may have palliative care at any stage of their illness and may receive curative therapy at the same time. The goal is to reduce a patient’s suffering, provide ongoing treatment, and promote the best quality of life for those with serious illnesses.
Palliative care not only addresses the physical issues that patients are dealing with, it also places emphasis on the patient’s spiritual and psycho-social well-being.
Palliative care is a 24/7 care management service to help patients get back to a higher level of comfort.
Who Needs Palliative Care?
Individuals who suffer from pain and/or symptoms of a chronic illness could benefit from palliative care services. Palliative care provides comfort and a higher quality of life to patients with a serious illness. Interventions include a physician and/or nurse practitioner to assist patients with pain and symptom management in the comfort of their home. Palliative care also decreases time spent in the hospital and provides patients more time to spend with loved ones. Palliative care allows patients to do all the things they still want to do while avoiding long hours in a physician’s office.
Eligibility depends on multiple factors, including pain and/or symptom management, the level of patient/family social support, and functional dependencies. Patients can qualify even while undergoing substantial, curative treatment. Palliative care can begin as early as a diagnosis is received, if interventions are needed.