Palliative Care (pronounced pal-lee-uh-tiv) specializes in the relief of the pain, symptoms and stress of serious illness. The goal is to improve quality of life for patients and their families. Palliative care is appropriate at any point in an illness. And it can be provided at the same time as treatment that is meant to cure.
Ensures quality of life
Palliative care is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Patients have a range of diseases and respond differently to treatment options. A key benefit of palliative care is that it customizes treatment to meet the needs of each individual person. Palliative care aims to relieve symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite and difficulty sleeping. Overall, palliative care offers patients the best possible quality of life during their illness. Palliative care benefits both patients and their families. The team helps patients and family make medical decisions and choose treatments. It also makes sure they get reliable information.
Different from hospice
Palliative care is not the same as hospice care. Palliative care may be provided at any time during a person’s illness, even from the time of diagnosis. It may also be given at the same time as curative treatment. Hospice care always provides palliative care. However, it is focused on terminally ill patients – people who no longer seek treatments to cure them and who are expected to live for about six months or less.