A Natural Approach To Health
Living With Palliative Care
I had a question the other day about palliative care.
For the last 30 years, palliative care has been provided by hospice programs.
Currently these programs serve more than 1 million patients and their families every year.
Now this very same approach to care is being used by other health care providers, including teams in hospitals, nursing facilities and home health agencies together with other medical treatments to help people who are seriously ill.
To palliate means to make comfortable by treating a person’s symptoms from an illness.
Hospice and palliative care both focus on helping a person be comfortable by addressing issues causing physical or emotional pain, or suffering.
The goals of palliative care are to improve the quality of a seriously ill person’s life and to support that person and their family during and after treatment.
Hospice focuses on relieving symptoms and supporting patients with a life expectancy of months not years, and their families.
However, palliative care may be given at any time during a patient’s illness, from diagnosis on.
Some hospices provide palliative care as a separate program or service, which can be very confusing to patients and families.
If you’ve been diagnosed with a serious, long-lasting disease or with a life-threatening illness, palliative care can make your life — and the lives of those who care for you — much easier.
Palliative care can be performed along with the care you receive from your doctors.
With palliative care, there’s a focus on relieving pain and other troubling symptoms and meeting your emotional, spiritual, and practical needs.
In short, palliative care aims to improve your quality of life — however you define that for yourself.
Your palliative care providers will work with you to identify and carry out your goals: symptom relief, counseling, spiritual comfort, or whatever enhances your quality of life.
Palliative care can also help you understand all your treatment options.
One of the strengths of palliative care is recognition of the human side of illness.
You can receive palliative care at the same time you pursue a cure for your illness.
You won’t be required to give up your regular doctors or treatments or hope for a cure.
Palliative care may also be a good option if you have a serious disease and have had multiple hospitalizations or emergency room visits during the previous year.
Does palliative care mean you’re dying?
It’s true that palliative care serves many people with life-threatening or terminal illnesses.
But some people are cured and no longer need palliative care.
Others move in and out of palliative care, as needed.
However, if you decide to stop pursuing a cure and your doctor believes you’re within the last few months of life, you can move to hospice.
Palliative care includes the important component of hospice, but it’s only one part of the larger field.
If your family members also need help, palliative care can provide them emotional and spiritual support, educate them about your situation, and support them as caregivers.
Some palliative programs offer home support and assistance with shopping, meal preparation, and respite care to give caregivers time off.
To be comfortable with palliative care it’s beneficial to:
*Drink 6-8 cups of purified water daily hydrates body and brain cells and flushes toxins (whether thirsty or not!).
*Ensure optimal digestion for nutrient absorption and utilization.