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Necessity of Palliative Care for a Patient Suffering from a Serious Illness

If a member of your family has been diagnosed with a serious illness, he/she and the entire family may benefit from the appropriate palliative care arrangement. This specialised medical care focuses on providing relief from the physical symptoms and psychological trauma of the illness and improving the quality of life for the individual and his/her family.

Whatever the diagnosis, this specialised care makes it possible for the patient and his/her family to handle it better. It takes into account all aspects of an individual’s life. The care arrangement is based on the overall well-being of the patient.

When is this care necessary? This care becomes necessary when an individual has a chronic or serious illness, such as cancer, kidney failure, cardiac disease, Parkinson’s, and so on. This care may be helpful for the patient at any age or stage of the illness. The objective of palliative care is to complement the curative treatment and provide an extra level of care.

It is a good idea to talk to a doctor if a family member or friend has been diagnosed with a serious illness. The doctor treating the individual will be able to advise you about whether palliative care is necessary for the patient.

How does this specialised care help the patient and his/her family? This specialised care arrangement tries to provide the patient with the necessary support and comfort to cope with the symptoms of his/her illness. Whether the patient suffers from physical pain or emotional turmoil, palliative care tries to relieve these symptoms.

The care providers help the patient and his/her family to carry on with their daily life as much as possible. They also help the patients and their families to understand the medical treatment choices and prepare for them.

Who provides palliative care? The care team often consists of the primary medical practitioners, nurses and health aides associated with the medical treatment of the patient along with healthcare professionals specialising in this form of care. The individuals included depend on the specific circumstances of a patient and his/her family.

If necessary, nutritionists, pharmacists, therapists and such other professionals also form part of the care team. At times, religion also becomes a part of the care arrangement making it necessary to include individuals such as chaplains in the team.

What is the focus of this care? It is essential to understand the focus of the care team before you appoint any agency to provide home help in Ireland. To achieve the objective of palliative care, it is necessary that the care team, comprising of family members, friends, healthcare professionals, nurses, caregivers, therapists, and all others, works as a unit.

The team working for the care of the patient must –

  • Initiate close communication between all elements involved
  • Help understand and navigate the healthcare system
  • Provide guidance regarding complex treatment choices
  • Relieve the distressing symptoms of the illness
  • Provide psychological, emotional and religious support

Only when the care team works in coordination, it will be possible to help the patient and his/her family to handle the illness and its effects on their life.

Author Bio

Celia Barrymore has long been associated with an agency providing home help for elderly and ailing individuals. If you are looking for more details about palliative care available at home or at a Galway nursing home, she suggests you visit http://www.comfortkeepers.ie/ for more details.


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