January 14, 2015

Is Palliative Care Right for My Loved One?

Palliative care may be right for your loved one if he or she is experiencing pain, stress and other symptoms due to a serious life-limiting illness. Serious illnesses include but are not limited to cancer, cardiac disease, respiratory disease, renal failure, Alzheimer’s and ALS. Palliative care is appropriate at any stage of a serious illness.

There are many benefits of palliative care for both patients and their families, including pain and symptom control, communication and coordination, emotional support, as well as family and caregiver support:

  • The palliative care team identifies sources of pain and discomfort. These may include problems with breathing, fatigue, depression, bowel/bladder or insomnia.
  • Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro’s (HPCG) interdisciplinary team places great importance on communication between you, your family and your doctors in order to ensure that your needs are fully met. These include establishing goals for your care, help with decision-making and coordination of care.
  • The interdisciplinary team will provide treatments that can offer relief, including medication, along with massage therapy or relaxation techniques.
  • The interdisciplinary team can help families develop advance care plans, including healthcare directives. Palliative care focuses on the entire person, not just the illness.
  • HPCG’s interdisciplinary team members caring for you will address any social, psychological, emotional or spiritual needs.
  • The palliative care team’s goal is to improve patient satisfaction. Caregivers bear a great deal of stress too, so the palliative care team supports them as well. This focused attention helps ease some of the strain and can help you with your decision-making.