Understanding Palliative Care

The conversation about when to switch your loved one’s plan of care from curative to palliative treatment can be full of emotion. The news that the illness your loved one has is not curable will be devastating, but this does not mean the end of the road for your loved ones. Many people fail to consider palliative care as an option due to the lack of information about the service. When is the right time to enroll for palliative care? What are some of the benefits of palliative care?


Palliative Care

Palliative care is specialized medical care for people living with terminal illnesses when a cure in no longer possible. While curative treatment is intended to try and cure the illness at hand, palliative care is focused on keeping the patient as comfortable as possible by managing pain and other acute symptoms. This type of care is aimed at providing relief from the illnesses the patients are suffering and any emotional distress this results in. Some common illnesses which lead to the need for palliative care include terminal cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and many other illnesses which have advanced beyond treatment.

Palliative care is provided by specially trained professionals who include nurses, physicians, and other aide specialists who work around the clock to ensure the patient has an extra layer of support and comfort to keep them happy throughout the day. These professionals are trained in palliative medicine and able to provide pain management treatment and therapy to soothe the ailing. Their care also involves psychological, social, and spiritual support, not just for the patient but also for the family. Some of the therapies used to offer moral support include using music, massages, pet therapy, and many others.


When is the Right Time to Enroll for Palliative Care?

If your loved one has been diagnosed with a terminal illness and doctors have declared a cure is no longer possible, then it is imperative to enroll your loved one in palliative care as soon as possible. If you are a beneficiary of Medicare and Medicaid, then some of the palliative care services will be covered by your insurance plan. Private insurance, HMOs and other managed care programs may also provide partial coverage as part of their chronic care benefits.


Benefits of Palliative Care

Palliative care improves the overall quality of life for the patient. Professionals will provide the best possible care to manage pain and increase comfort for the patient. Palliative care will grant the patient and his/her loved ones quality time together, which is especially important for patients with terminal illnesses. It will also help the family and patient come to terms with the illness and brace themselves for the inevitable.

Here at Wings of Hope, we pride ourselves in offering palliative care and other types of hospice care to the people that need it most. It is our honor to be a guiding light to the affected families, and we are available 24/7 to provide support and needed guidance. Give us a call today to receive more information on our services and why you should enroll your loved one for palliative care.