Do you have a serious illness? Palliative care can help.
Do you, or someone you love, have a serious illness? If so, you may wish you were spending more time enjoying life, and less time coping with pain, stress or other symptoms. Palliative care can help.
Palliative care is an extra layer of support for you, your family and your doctors. It will help manage your pain and symptoms. It will help you understand your treatment options. And it will help you cope with the day-to-day challenges of living with a serious illness.
You can get palliative care at the same time as treatment for your disease, so that you can live as well as possible. It is a team approach to care that puts you back in control of your life.
It doesn’t matter how old you are. You should have palliative care as early in your serious illness as possible – even from the point of diagnosis. Palliative care can help you with cancer, congestive heart failure, lung disease, kidney failure, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), and many more.
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 cope with your medical treatments. Managing these symptoms can give you the strength you need to carry on with your daily life.
You don’t have to wait until your symptoms become serious to ask for palliative care. In fact, the sooner you ask for it, the better for you and your family.
So how does it work?
Palliative care is a medical specialty. It is provided by a team of doctors, nurses, social workers and other specialists who work with your other doctors. Your palliative care team will spend as much time as needed with you and your family to learn about what you need and what you want out of life. They will help you understand your options for treatment, and they will help you talk to your other doctors about your choices and build a plan for your care. Your palliative care team will also help your loved ones cope while they care for you, so that your family can have a well-deserved break.
Your disease does not run your life, you do. Take back control and ask your doctor about palliative care.