When Should Someone Be Offered Palliative Care?

Someone Be Offered Palliative Care

If you have come across the term “palliative care”, you might have associated it with people diagnosed with terminal health conditions and need end of life care. While that is quite true, palliative care nursing is not limited to patrons at the later stages of their ailment. Clients can use it at all stages of the medical journey to keep them comfortable and out of pain.

Suppose a person is diagnosed with a terminal or long-lasting ailment and has no hope of getting better. In that case, palliative care nursing makes life a little easier for them and their loved ones. Palliative care can be taken as the primary service or as an additional care package along with the treatment the doctors give.

The focus of palliative care providers is to offer pain relief and care for other serious symptoms of your terminal illness while providing practical, spiritual, and emotional support. In simple terms, this special care is aimed at enhancing the quality of your life without spiralling down into depression.

Who Can Ask for Palliative Care Support?

Palliative care nursing is available to anyone with a terminal illness or serious health condition like dementia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart failure, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and many more.

Palliative care works best if it is offered right after the final diagnosis. One of the primary goals of palliative care nursing is symptom management. These symptoms can arise due to the primary health concern or the treatment the person receives.

For instance, chemotherapy drugs prescribed to cancer patients can cause vomiting and nausea. Additionally, narcotic medications that are given for pain management often cause constipation.

Palliative care workers offer support to relieve these symptoms, helping the patron continue their normal life and finish the treatment. Listed below are some of the symptoms frequently addressed by palliative care workers:

  • Constipation
  • Pain
  • Bowel or bladder problems
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Coughing
  • Delirium or mental confusion
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Insomnia or difficulty in sleeping
  • Breathing troubles
  • Appetite loss

When Should You Get Palliative Care?

The ultimate purpose of palliative care is to provide support and comfort and improve life quality. So, when it should be offered depends entirely on the client or the health condition’s progression rate.

While your doctors and healthcare team will advise you on when to take up palliative care support, in the end, it depends upon the person to decide when they want to start. However, suppose the person with a terminal illness cannot decide. In that case, the family members can determine on their behalf.

If the person’s condition is still manageable and not life-threatening, they can choose to delay palliative care nursing until it is no longer manageable with the help of emotional support and medications.

Furthermore, if the terminally ill person decides to stop treatment, especially when it gets too invasive or the side effects are unbearable, palliative care nursing can step in between to control the symptoms and make life easy for them.

Or the person can also start palliative treatment immediately after the final diagnosis to get time for spiritual and mental support. Palliative care teams do not just focus on the medical aspect of your condition but aim to provide 360-degree support to guide the person spiritually and mentally. This aspect of palliative service is extremely comforting to people who are living with depression and anxiety.

Why Is Palliative Care Important?

Palliative Care is about making the person diagnosed with a life-threatening illness as comfortable as possible during and after treatment. Here are all the benefits of taking this caring support:

  • Physical and emotional support for not only the patient but also their family and loved ones
  • Managing pain
  • Enhancing the quality of life of the patient and their family members and allowing them to accept this truth of life as positively as possible
  • Providing relief during symptoms that can overwhelm the person physically and mentally.
  • Planning for the last wishes of the person before and after death

Final Word

Your medical team and doctors are the best people to guide you and refer you for palliative care. Otherwise, you can also personally search for palliative nursing service providers who offer in-home care and also have long-term care facilities.