Were you aware that all hospice agencies provide palliative care? According to the World Health Organization, palliative care is “an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual.” (World Health Organization). In short, palliative care focuses on comfort, not cure.
This type of care is available to individuals of any age that are in any stage of a serious illness. It is provided by a specialized team of doctors, nurses, and other health professionals that work alongside the patient’s others doctors to supply extra support. Palliative care could also be given to the patient while receiving curative treatment.
The key goals of palliative care are:
● To enhance the quality of life of patient & family
– To offer support to the patients to live life as meaningfully as possible until death
– To offer the family a system of support throughout the coping process of an ill loved one as well as during their bereavement
● To provide pain relief and symptom management
● To offer emotional support and encouragement when discussing life and the dying process
If this description seems familiar, it may be because it is like hospice care. Hospice is a specific type of palliative care. Hospice only applies to those with a terminal illness and a prognosis of six months or less. Some examples of chronic (not terminal) illnesses that are common among people receiving palliative care include arthritis, asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis.
Although hospice is palliative care, not all palliative care is considered hospice.
If you or a loved one is suffering from high levels of pain or uncontrolled symptoms, please call and tell us about your experience. We care to improve the quality of life for people suffering from serious illnesses. Allow us to help you along your journey.
World Health Organization. (2012, January 28). WHO Definition of Palliative Care. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/cancer/palliative/definition/en/