Five ways that palliative care can help you
Are you or a loved one living with a serious illness? Maybe you’re a caregiver or family member to a person living with a serious illness. Dealing with a serious illness, whether you’re the patient or a family member, can be difficult. That’s why you need palliative care.Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses. It focuses on providing patients with relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family.
Here are five ways that palliative care can help you:
1. Provides relief from symptoms and stress
Palliative care specialists are experts in managing symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping and depression. Palliative care can also help you gain the strength to carry on with daily life. It improves your ability to tolerate medical treatments. Your palliative care team will help you to understand complex medical information, and to match your treatment choices to your personal needs and goals. In all ways, your palliative care team helps you to better cope.
2. Coordinates your care
Palliative care teams are extremely good communicators. They put great importance on communication between you, your family and your doctors in order to ensure that your needs are fully met. These include establishing goals for your care, help with decision-making, extra time for communication and help navigating the health system.
3. Provides support caregivers and families
Today, over 43 million people are adult family caregivers for someone 50 years of age or older, valued at $450 billion dollars in caregiving services every year. This results in lost work hours or lost jobs, high stress and serious declines in physical and mental health. Palliative care is a solution. According to a recent study, the earlier caregivers of people with advanced cancer were introduced to palliative care, the better they were able to cope with the caregiving experience. Researchers found that overall quality of life, depression, and feelings of being overwhelmed all improved in the group that immediately started palliative care compared with those who started later.
4. Helps support your own doctor
You don’t have to give up your own doctor to have palliative care. In fact, palliative care provides support to your doctor, as well as to patients and caregivers. The palliative care team works in partnership with your own doctor to provide an extra layer of support for you and your family.
5. Improves your overall quality of life
Palliative care can help you find relief from pain, shortness of breath and fatigue. It can treat constipation, nausea and loss of appetite. It can help you sleep and overcome depression. It can also help you understand and cope with your medical treatments. Managing these symptoms can give you the strength you need to carry on with your daily life.
To find a palliative care provider near you, visit our Provider Directory.