In home palliative care is a specialized form of medicine designed to help people manage the symptoms of serious illness. It provides relief from pain, reduction in troublesome symptoms, and improves the quality of life for both a patient and their families and can be provided alongside any number of other treatment options.
What is Palliative Care?
Palliative care is a unique medical subspecialty that focuses on symptom relief from serious illnesses, regardless of your prognosis. It can help people living with illnesses such as:
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Lung disease
- Liver disease
- Bone marrow disorders
Often, palliative care is confused with hospice care. While they have much in common, hospice care is specific treatment for people approaching the end of their lives – and implies that the focus of medicine shifts from curative treatments to managing symptoms.
Palliative care is intended to be used at any point in the course of serious illness. It can be used in addition to curative treatments and can provide substantial relief to people who experience painful or disruptive symptoms, either as a symptom of their illness or a side effect of treatment. Several studies have shown that incorporating palliative care can lead to increased quality of life and mood, and even disease survival.
Too often, people with serious illness receive medical care that is so singularly focused on fixing the problem, that their symptoms and side effects get brushed to the side. A cancer patient’s doctor may want them to increase chemotherapy, regardless of the pain and discomfort that it causes. A person awaiting a bone marrow transplant may have to suffer significant side effects until a donor is found.
This single-minded focus can leave many patients distraught, searching for medical care that can simply help them feel better. This is exactly what palliative care services aim to accomplish and can make a dramatic difference in your quality of life despite serious illness.