When your family member is dealing with a serious illness, you may feel at a loss as to how to help at all. The worst can be watching your family member struggle with symptoms that her curative therapies may not be able to help manage. That’s why palliative care services can be an excellent option.
Care that Focuses on Relief
The most important thing to understand about palliative care is that it’s about ensuring your senior has the relief that she needs. This type of care helps to offer relief from side effects and from pain, discomfort, and other symptoms that can be difficult to manage. Your elderly family member has the help that she needs to address the issues that are most pressing for her.
Who Needs Palliative Care?
This type of care is offered primarily to people who have a life-threatening chronic illness. Illnesses such as cancer, COPD, liver disease, and kidney failure are all progressive conditions that take a huge toll on your family member. The bottom line is that if your family member is dealing with a serious illness and is experiencing a great many symptoms, as a result, talk with her doctor about palliative care options.
Hospice Care Is a Different Type of Care
Because both types of care involve assisting someone who is dealing with a serious illness, palliative and hospice care are often mistaken for each other. Hospice is for patients who are near the end of their lives, usually with six months or less remaining according to their doctors. Palliative options can start soon after your family member is diagnosed with a qualifying condition.
Your Senior Has a Team and Your Family Has Help, Too
There’s not just one professional helping your family member once she decides that palliative treatments are right for her. She has access to a variety of different professionals who can work to help her meet her needs. Physical therapy, occupational therapy, social workers, nutritionists, and so many other types of professionals work with your family member’s medical team to provide her with the best care possible.
It’s difficult for family members to know how to cope with serious illnesses, as well. Palliative care also offers a way for family members to get the help that they need. It’s also much easier to find the information that you need in order to keep helping your family member when you have a wealth of resources you can tap into on a regular basis. The end goal is to make sure that your family member has what she needs in order to have the best quality of life that she can have.
The more that you and your family member learn about palliative care options the easier it will be to decide whether it’s the right choice for her. Your family member is never locked into this type of care, either. If she decides it isn’t for her, she can always change her mind. Knowing that can often make the decision easier, and afterward, your family member may be glad she took that step.