Terminal or life-threatening illnesses like cancer and lung disease are stressful for patients, family members, and friends. While early medical intervention may help improve these conditions, most ailments are fatal and have no cure. However, palliative care in Pasadena may help improve the quality of life for patients with terminal diseases, including heart disease.  This form of healthcare focuses on patients' physical well-being and mental and emotional conditions. Patients with pain, depression, nausea, breathing difficulties, and anorexia may benefit from palliative care.

What is palliative care?

Palliative care is a specialized form of healthcare offered to patients with terminal illnesses. This form of care can be given to people of different age groups and at any stage of infection – onset or end period. Living with life-threatening conditions such as stroke and heart disease affects the patient, friends, and family. Palliative care may also help develop patients and affected people strategies to manage mental disorders such as depression and anxiety. Patients with terminal illnesses can receive palliative care in different settings, including at home, a hospice, a hospital, or a residential aged care facility.

Is palliative care similar to hospice?

The significant difference between hospice and palliative care is the time when the care begins.  Your specialist may recommend palliative care immediately after your diagnostic results or as you start treatment. However, hospice care typically begins after treatment is not practical for a patient. The care given after treatments may be because of the severe side effects caused by particular methods, including chemotherapy. Your doctor may recommend hospice care when it is clear the condition cannot improve. Hospice care is usually offered when a patient is expected to live for only six months or less.

Who can benefit from palliative care?

Palliative care may improve the quality of life of both children and adults living with life-threatening illnesses that include:

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  •  Kidney failure
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • End-stage liver disease
  • Cystic fibroids
  • Bone marrow disorders

Palliative care can be offered by different people such as:

  • General practitioners and palliative care specialists.
  • Specialized and available nurses.
  • Social workers
  • Occupational therapists
  • Psychologists
  • Dietitians
  • Speech pathologists
  • Chaplains
  • Volunteers

What does palliative care involve?

Symptom management

Palliative care may involve formulating a plan to address various symptoms, including pain and shortness of breath, to improve your quality of life. The program may include treatment methods including medicine, physical therapy, nutritional guidance, and integrative therapies. Multiple specialists such as dietitians and therapists are involved in palliative care.

Support

Much planning and decision-making are needed for the family of a patient approaching the end of life. Insufficient support may result in stress, financial concerns, and fear of losing a loved one. Besides offering moral support, palliative care specialists can provide guidance to affected families. A chaplain may address the spiritual questions one may have and give tips on coping with loss.

Caring for your loved one by yourself can take a toll on you emotionally, mentally, and physically. However, with the right people, you can improve the quality of life for an ailing individual. If you need help with a sick person or would like to learn more about palliative care, book a session with your doctor at Hospice and Palliative Care of California.

Author's Bio: 

Parker is a full-time writer and contributor to various amazing websites and blogs. You can contact him on parkershown99@gmail.com