You know you are a cancer patient…you have a doctor, a team of nurses, your family to support you through the process of disease management, then what is that you are missing? What is palliative care? Why would you need palliative care? Is it something that a cancer patient can do without?
Find your answers by reading on…
Palliative care is a term given to the care that is given to improve or enhance the quality of life of patients diagnosed with life-threatening diseases such as cancer. Palliative care is a component of disease management that addresses the concerns of the patient as a whole with special respect to the disease. It is also termed as comfort care or supportive care, the name thereby suggesting a care facility at the hospital or a clinic or a long-term care facility.
Who provides palliative care?
In today’s’ world, it is provided by specially trained palliative care specialists and healthcare practitioners. These practitioners are well certified and treated in it that helps to focus on the physical, emotional and social needs of the patients. Broadly, the team comprises doctors, pharmacists, caregivers, nurses, and social workers. The primary focus of palliative caregivers is to provide a quality of life for the patient.
What palliative care includes?
It addresses both emotional and physical needs which essentially may differ from person to person. It takes care of the following needs and symptoms:
- Physical symptoms such as pain, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and insomnia.
- The needs of the Caregivers are often one of the commonly overlooked aspects of inpatient care. While the patient suffers from the disease the family feels overwhelmed while providing care to the patients over a period of time. Therefore, it is important to be mindful of the needs of the caregivers such as family members as well.
- Practical needs broadly include financial needs such as insurance, policies, and regulations around disease management.
- Coping with the disease as a whole, wherein the patient needs help to understand cope and adjust with reality. It is essential for the patient to have that trust with the doctor and the treatment regime that he/ she has been put through.
Who is most benefited from palliative care?
People with a terminal illness often experience pain, depression, and anxiety. It provides for ease and comfort alongside the management of the disease. Therefore, if it would be accurate to state that yes cancer patients are one of those comforted by palliative care.
Other diseases wherein it has found to essentially play an important role include congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, and AIDS and Alzheimer’s.
Cancer and palliative care
Yes, cancer patients undergo a whole turmoil of events while undergoing treatment. Needless to say, patients’ will power is of utmost importance, however, the treatment regime especially recurrent chemotherapy sessions often drain the patients. Not only this, while the whole family undergoes a lot, it serves as background support for the patient in terms of mental strength, spirituality, practicality, and overall human conduct.