When people you love are terminally ill, choosing palliative care for them may feel like you are letting them die. In reality, you are allowing them to exit the world comfortably and at peace with their loved ones around them. Choosing palliative care is not a defeat but a positive way to help people navigate the natural transition between life and death. When the time comes, do not be afraid of choosing this option.
The focus of palliative care is to provide relief from suffering for those facing a potentially fatal illness. It emphasizes pain relief and psychological support for patients and does not aim to prevent or hurry death. In fact, a palliative approach can begin early in an illness and help people get through the stress of difficult medical treatment such as chemotherapy. Occasionally those who receive palliative care are not always terminal but are fighting a very serious illness. Early palliative intervention can aid them as well as those patients who are terminal.
Although palliative care has been proven to have many benefits for patients, only 14% of those who need the care receive it. Studies have shown that patients receiving palliative care in a hospice setting suffer less from depression and have less pain. Patients receive psychological and spiritual counseling as well as pain-relieving medications. Those who receive the treatment early may also avoid trips to the emergency room, which means their care may cost less. In addition, palliative care has been found to extend patients' lives rather than shorten them.
Family Caregiver Benefits
Studies have shown that family caregivers also benefit from palliative care. Providing care for the terminally ill can be as psychologically devastating for the family member as the disease is for the patient. A program that offers psychological support for the caregivers can also aid the patient by removing stress from the daily routine. When they receive early palliative help, caregivers also are less depressed and are not overwhelmed by providing necessary care to the patient. The goal is always to make death a natural and bearable process for the patient and the patient's family.
If you decide on palliative care for your loved one, you are not giving up. You are accepting that the patient's life is nearing the end and helping to make those last days comfortable as well as meaningful. Most people tend to be afraid of dying. Palliative care addresses those fears and makes the end better for everyone involved. Embracing palliative care is one way to be victorious over the ravages of disease.
For more information, contact a company like Cornerstone Hospice and Palliative Care.