- Palliative care is for patients with a chronic or severe illness, and may be provided at any stage.
- Curative care is often administered along with palliative care.
- Doctors and nurses who provide palliative care are specially trained to keep patients comfortable, regardless of their diagnosis.
- This type of care is meant to improve the quality of life for patients and their families.
When a loved one is living with severe, chronic illness, the care they receive is pivotal. If their primary physician prescribes palliative care, you may find yourself wondering what that entails. Palliative care is provided by health care practitioners who specialize in caring for people with serious illnesses, and it’s designed to ensure patients can continue to live comfortably, even after being diagnosed with a severe illness. This specialized type of care is administered for a variety of illnesses and can be provided in and out of the hospital or in residential care.
Below, you can find everything you need to know about palliative care so that you and your loved one can face this stage of life comfortably and with confidence.
Improve Quality of Life
When you or your loved one receives a particular diagnosis, you’re likely to be assigned a physician who specializes in the illness. That specialist takes care of providing the treatments necessary to help combat the condition, which can include things such as chemotherapy for cancer, or prescription medications to help improve memory or reduce tremors associated with Parkinson’s disease. However, that specialist isn’t always focused on ensuring a patient’s quality of life remains intact, meaning that symptoms of the condition and side effects of the illness can result in pain, discomfort or other problems that make it difficult to continue daily tasks.
This is where palliative care comes in. A palliative care team ensures patients have the tools they need to get through their daily lives as easily and as comfortably as possible so that their quality of life doesn’t suffer dramatically. Methods used by palliative care teams can include everything from symptom management and mental health treatment to spiritual care.