Palliative Health Care – A Basic Requirement For People In Severe Physical And Emotional Distress
What does palliative health care mean ?
Palliative health care refers to the treatment provided to people in severe emotional and physical trauma or distress by providing suitable care. The major aim or the concept behind this kind of care is to provide support to people through all stages of a terminal sickness such as palliative cancer care. It aims to make life as comfortable as possible for the patients who are sick and to their family. The treatment is provided for everybody who is chronically in distress, although a large number of cases that are treated are those who are close to death.
The objectives of palliative health care can be described in four points – to enhance comfort for sufferers, to prevent trauma and suffering, provide best health care and offer physical and emotional support. Palliative health care aims as treating a person as normally as possible, no matter what his sickness is and how serious he is in his deteriorating condition. Palliative health care is provided for family, friends and care givers.
Aims at pain relief
The major aim of palliative health care is to relieve pain and discomfort. This could mean a number of things such as care for nausea, different respiratory problems that arise due to terminal sickness, fatigue, loss of appetite and pain in different parts of the body. Palliative health care makes pain relief the major motto in its care giving strategy. Although palliative health care is often confused with hospice, there is a slight difference between the two. Palliative health care tries to prolong life of a person who is terminally ill while hospice is what a patient can opt for only in the last stages of his or her life. Hospice is just one of the facets and an integral part of palliative health care.
What does a palliative health care team consist of ?
A typical palliative health care team consists of a single or a team of physicians who are specialized in providing palliative health care, in addition to nurses, chaplains, social workers, nursing assistant and different occupational therapists and speech therapists. All these experts work as a team and provide palliative care for the terminally ill person and support to his family. These experts help a person and his family in making important decisions of his or her life. Often these decisions are between life and death and hence, proper guidance and counseling is provided so that right decisions can be made. Palliative health care is inclusive of care for all cancer, cardiac, neurological, infectious and communicable diseases.