About Palliative Care
Palliative Care is a very difficult and emotional subject. It is a specialised form of care for people with a serious illness, for whom only one outcome is inevitable. It can affect at any life stage, although more commonly experienced in elderly patients. Another term you may come across for palliative care is “end of life care”. Ultimately, the goal here is to focus on relieving as many of the associated symptoms and stress, improving as much as possible the quality of life for both the patient and close friends and family.
During a palliative care programme, the healthcare providers will focus on treating or managing pain, facilitating movement or simple everyday actions that may become much more important than before (often little things that we take for granted in life). It doesn’t quicken or slow down the process of death, but focuses on ensuring as high a quality of life as is possible for the patient and their family, often providing as much psychological support and reassurance that comes from having someone external to the situation part of the process.
The most essential component of successful palliative care rests on the initial expectations for end of life. What do you want? For some this to be able to walk to the garden and experience fresh air, for others it is to be able to sit hold a grandchild’s hand. Whatever it is, being clear on those things that suddenly become very important in life, will have a dramatic impact on the success of a palliative care programme.