When you and your elderly family member start to talk about different types of care options, the conversation may feel overwhelming quickly. What can help a lot is understanding the differences between specific types of care, like the differences between curative care and palliative care. Those differences can help you both to make the right choices for her so that she’s able to live her life on her own terms.
Traditional or Curative Treatments Focus on a Cure
When your elderly family member is first diagnosed with a serious health issue, she probably has at least a few different options for curative treatments. These therapies and treatments are geared toward curing or at least reducing the impact of this health issue on your senior. Some examples can include medications, surgery, chemotherapy, and more. The overarching goal is to fight the illness.
Palliative Treatments Focus on Quality of Life
Palliative care (also known as supportive care), on the other hand, has a slightly different goal. Whereas curative therapies are more aggressive, palliative treatments are gentler. They’re geared toward helping your elderly family member to be as comfortable as possible and to improve her quality of life whenever possible. Pain and symptom management are high on the list of goals for palliative treatments.
The Two Types of Care Can Work Together
While they seem completely opposite from one another, these two types of care can work together. They offer your senior a chance to balance out her care options. She can work with different care specialists and therapists, like physical and occupational therapists, to help her to manage her symptoms and deal with the side effects of curative treatments.
Your Senior May Be Eligible for Palliative Care Sooner than You Think
Often palliative care is something that people think about only in end-of-life situations. But the reality is that your elderly family member may be eligible for palliative treatment options as soon as she’s diagnosed with a serious health issue. Choosing palliative options sooner rather than later can help your family member to have a much better quality of life for a lot longer. Some of the illnesses that can benefit most from choosing palliative care earlier can include COPD, cancer, heart disease, dementia, and more.
Palliative Options Can Complement Other Types of Care
The most important thing to remember is that palliative care can be a complement to what your senior is already doing with her main medical team. She doesn’t have to choose between one option or the other. And if she doesn’t feel that palliative treatments are truly helping, she can stop any or all of them at any time. Sometimes taking a rest from any type of care can be helpful mentally and physically.
There’s a lot that happens when your family member is dealing with a serious health issue. It’s not always easy at all, for her or for you as her primary family caregiver. Having some options, like the ones that palliative care can provide, can make life feel a bit less difficult.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Supportive/Palliative Care, in north Texas, please contact the caring staff at Ardent Supportive Care today. 469-348-0670