What is Palliative Care

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines palliative care as an approach that aims to improve the quality of life of patients who are diagnosed with a terminal illness or nearing the end-of-life stage through early prevention, identification and treatment of pain and other problems that may cause the patients suffering. Palliative care aims to provide relief to patients who are suffering from pain and other distressing symptoms. It accepts and affirms that death is a normal human process and a part of the life cycle. It uses a holistic approach to integrate all dimensions of human health. It neither tries to hasten or postpone death. It offers a support system to help the family face and address one of the dreading crises one may encounter as it approaches its end of life. 

The patient and their family may choose where to receive palliative care treatment. It can be at the comforts of their home, in the hospital, in a hospice facility or in a residential aged care facility. The decision-making process may include consideration of the following factors: The nature of the illness and what type and amount of care the person needs, how much support is available and is needed from the patient’s family and community, and whether or not the person has someone at home who can provide physical care and support for them.

HealthNow’s Palliative Care may be given at the same time while undergoing treatments to treat and cure the disease. It may be provided when the illness is still being diagnosed, during treatment and up until the end of life. Palliative care is commonly offered to patients with illness like cancer, heart and disease, kidney failure, dementia, HIV/ AIDS, and ALS to name a few. Any form of life-limiting illness will qualify a patient to receive palliative care. Patients’ illnesses that are progressing and expected to advance are also included. A patient may receive palliative care at any stage of their illness. Receiving palliative care does not mean a patient is about to die soon, some patient receives it for years.

HealthNow’s Palliative Care aims to help the patient enjoy a quality of life which includes maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It allows the patient to establish a  balanced well-being and remain as active as possible in their remaining time left. Patients are not the only one who can benefit from palliative care, it extends to members who also need help. It provides the family with emotional and spiritual support and educates them about the patient’s condition and situation. Some programs  even offer home support and assistance with shopping, meal support and respite care to allow caregivers a time off. It even helps and supports the family during the bereavement process and offers counseling for those who will be left behind.

HealthNow will Palliative Care includes caring for people who are nearing the end of life which can transition to hospice care once the doctor determines that the patient’s condition can no longer be improved and that there is only little time left.

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