Palliative care is begun when a person acquires a serious illness. It is helpful in providing improved quality of life and reducing stress upon the family of the ill person.
What is palliative care?
This kind of specialized medical care provides relief from the symptoms incurred with a serious illness. It may relieve suffering by incorporating holistic, spiritual and pharmaceutical measures.
Palliative care is not the same as hospice care. It is not designed solely to serve a dying person’s needs. It focuses instead upon improving quality of life for people battling life-threatening or chronic medical conditions. The palliative specialty is a relatively new offering on the roster of patient cares. The great majority of American medical schools now offer programs that teach about the field and its benefits.
Congestive heart disease
Congestive heart disease is a chronic condition that slowly worsens over time. The illness progresses in stages, from Stage A, a candidate for congestive heart disease, to Stage D, shortness of breath and overall fatigue.
Shortness of breath and fatigue seriously compromise activities of daily living, as well as producing chronic anxiety. A specialized care team can do much to reduce this distress by working with a patient to better enable oxygen use through simple exercise and dietary precautions.
Dementia slowly causes the brain to stop functioning. Families dealing with dementia need assistance and support. Terrible stress can be placed upon family members from this progressive and difficult disease. Eventually, the demented person loses skills to dress and bathe. Hunger and thirst may not be acknowledged. Specialized care can assist with decisions about home care or eventual placement in a long-term care facility for a demented person.
Multiple sclerosis is a progressive disease affecting the brain and spinal cord. Early symptoms are sometimes overlooked, such as blurred vision and muscle weakness. As the disease progresses, serious thinking deficits, urinary problems and mobility restrictions often occur. Multiple sclerosis can require hospitalizations to deal with flares of the disease, and when the person returns home, specialized care may be required for a time.
Kidney disease progresses slowly. Much damage can occur without a person being aware of it. Eventually, the build-up of waste products that the kidneys can no longer filter results in lethargy, confusion, shortness of breath and weakness. Abnormal heart rhythms may be present.
A care team nurse can do much to provide encouragement to control blood pressure and diabetes, as well as monitor the progression of the disease via tests to determine adequate kidney function.
Palliative care offers communication, support and solutions. Trained care teams are provided via a state-by-state list.