Chronic diseases like cancer, COPD, chronic renal failure, and Alzheimer’s Disease and other Dementias last long and have a slow progression. The effects of chronic illness are vast and affect patients as well as family members. Patients have symptoms specific to their disease, but also have issues like pain and fatigue. These need to be given immediate attention. If untreated, they can impact your life as well as your family members. Physical changes in you over the period might change your appearance. The family may go through a series of an emotional rollercoaster – guilt, anger, sadness, fear, anxiety, and depressed mood.
When chronic life-limiting illness, they may be treated by various doctors for various issues, and someone from the team needs to explain it to the patient as well as a family what’s happening, what are the treatments planned, what we are expecting as a result of these treatments, helping them make an informed decision.
Acute care setting hospitals are not always the best for treating chronically ill patients. Once their issues requiring immediate attention are sorted out in these hospitals, they needed to be shifted to a more comfortable, homely atmosphere.
Palliative care fills up the gaps in the care of these chronically ill patients and family members. The patient’s suffering is reduced by good medical management and by understanding and managing Psycho – spiritual needs.
Palliative care is also called comfort care, supportive care. It is a low – tech, high touch service that can be personalized according to the individual’s needs. Palliative care is provided in the hospital, in an outpatient clinic, or in a long-term care facility, or at home under the direction of a palliative care expert. It can be given at any age and at any stage of chronic illness. Palliative care is usually by a team of doctors, nurses, medical social workers, and family members, where the goal of the treatment is to improve quality of life. When everyone is working towards achieving this goal, then palliative care acts as an additional layer of Support. This can be provided while you are undergoing curative treatment.
Palliative care affirms life and regards dying as a normal process. It helps you live as well as possible until you die. It preserves the dignity of an individual by respecting life till the End