What Is Palliative Care and Why You May Want To Consider It?
Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing a life-threatening illness. Palliative care aims to prevent and relieve suffering by means of early identification, assessment, and treatment of pain as well as physical, psychosocial and spiritual issues.
Palliative care is not just care provided in the final stages of life, but will help a person live well with a terminal illness. Sometimes palliative care can be of benefit for a person at their initial diagnosis of a life-limiting condition, or be useful on and off through various stages of an illness. Many people have long-term interactions with their palliative care team, seeing them during the course of their illness.
End of life care should help a loved one live as well as possible until death, and to die with dignity. Palliative care properly executed should take into consideration wishes and preferences of the patient, and work with the patient to help plan your care. Family and carers should also be supported, both during the illness and afterward during bereavement.
Who delivers palliative care?
Palliative care involves many health professionals who all bring a range of skills to help you manage your illness. These professions include, but are not limited to:
3. Social workers
5. Occupational and speech therapists
7. Trained volunteers
Care planning for palliative care
It is important to inform those closest to you of your wishes for care should you be living with a life limiting illness. It can be very difficult to discuss these topics with anyone, let alone those closest to you who are most affected. One of the most important components of your plan is where you would like to die: at home, in a hospice, or in a hospital? Develop your ‘goals of care’ with a doctor or palliative specialist, and work with them on how you will communicate it to your loved ones. An Ontario resource for advanced care planning can be found here. Your goals of care should include instructions about artificial nutrition, artificial respiration, and who your substitute decision maker is if you are unable to speak for yourself.
At Home Palliative Care
Palliative care services are offered in many places, including hospitals, long term care facilities, residential hospices and in your own home. Evidence suggests that most people would prefer to die in that familiarity of their home. A well-managed death at home is a gentle, natural experience.
Palliative care services can be arranged by the local CCAC. The services will be provided by home care service providers and paid for by the government. In addition, many families choose to purchase additional care from home care Toronto to provide support and comfort during this difficult time. Retire-At-Home Services Toronto is able to assist families in determining the nature and amount of care that would be helpful.
When people are well informed, participate in treatment decisions and communicate openly with their doctors and other health professionals, they help make their care as effective as possible.