Palliative care is a valuable treatment option that gives patients the best of both worlds: treatment geared towards finding a cure for their illness while also maximizing their comfort and reducing pain. It is a care plan that is initiated with the optimism that the patient will survive, but with the understanding that extensive medical care will be necessary. The goal is to make the patient as comfortable as possible while doctors work on treatment that will lead to a full recovery.
What Is Palliative Care?
Palliative care is the treatment someone receives to not only provide relief from symptoms, but also to work to find a cure. Unlike hospice care, a patient undergoing palliative care does not have to have a terminal illness. Most often the patient is suffering from an illness that can potentially be treated but requires extensive medical treatment and care.
As a result, it is recommended that a patient with the option to start palliative care do so as soon as possible – patients can even begin treatment at the time of diagnosis so that they have the maximum medical care and emotional support possible while undergoing treatment. In fact, the sooner that someone begins treatment the better chances he or she has to make a quick, full recovery.
The unique thing about palliative care is that caregivers offer both medical and emotional support. This is essential for patients who have a long, difficult medical battle ahead of them, such as patients with cancer who are undergoing chemotherapy.
In addition, palliative caregivers serve as important resources for patients and their families. They help them navigate the intricate healthcare systems so that the patient can focus on getting healthy rather than struggling to balance the complexity of working with different specialists, medications, and hospitals.