Palliative Care

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January 25, 2016 | Aptus Associates

Palliative care is the treatment during a serious illness where there is specialized medical care for the individual. It is usually the step of treatment before hospice and is a way to improve the quality of life for both the patient and their families. Employees at palliative care facilities are experts at treating specific long term illnesses and can give patients the help they need.

Palliative care is used for a variety of  serious illnesses like cancer, organ failure, dementia, neurological diseases and other ailments. If someone suffers from any of these and your quality of life has gone down from inactivity, this may be a sign that palliative care is needed. The most common reasons that palliative care would be necessary is if the patient frequently has to visit the emergency room, if the patient is having a difficult reaction to treatment, or if there have been eating problems because of the condition or treatment.

Palliative care is especially good for the patient and family that would like to know what’s happening throughout the illness, needs a little help coping, or may need help with medical decisions or information. A palliative care employee will be beneficial in both treating the illness and working to make it a comfortable transition from a life without a serious illness to one where the disease may take center stage.

As a doctor, you know that you most likely have to refer your patient to a palliative care professional service Although that might be difficult to hand over a patient you’ve surely grown to care about, consider their point of view. Ask how their treatment is going and if their quality of life has decreased and what that means. You should ask how their symptoms are progressing and what they’re feeling emotionally as the disease continues. It’s up to your discretion (as most medical decisions are) to provide them with a palliative care should you think that they need it.

Palliative care is most likely the step just before hospice and it might be tough as a doctor to send your favorite patients away to something like that. Remember that they are getting the care they need and are being made as comfortable as possible throughout the whole process.