When to arrange palliative care
Palliative care is a specific branch of care that focuses on supporting people living with a serious or terminal illness. When you or a loved one are diagnosed with a terminal illness, it can cause a lot of emotional and physical stress, both to you and to your family. Life with a terminal illness, such as types of dementia or advanced cancer, can require a high level of care, particularly as the condition progresses.
You’ll have personal care requirements and tasks around the house that you will need assistance with, and having a palliative carer to work alongside your regular doctors can help to take away a lot of the physical and mental stress that can be so crippling when living with a serious or terminal illness. Palliative care is designed to enhance your quality of life by helping you manage the symptoms of your condition, ensuring you’re able to be as comfortable as possible, empowering you to enjoy as much normality as possible and supporting you emotionally and socially.
Is palliative care appropriate for me?
Can you only receive palliative care if you’re dying? Historically, palliative care has been reserved for people living with a terminal illness, but increasingly people with serious, debilitating illnesses are realising the benefits of receiving palliative care. Often people choose to move in and out of palliative care as their condition changes, whilst others use palliative care as a way of managing painful but not life-threatening diseases.
The reason that palliative care is becoming a more universal care option is its heavy focus on symptom management and pain relief. Palliative care is a brilliant way of regaining your independence and being able to enjoy a better quality of life whilst simultaneously undergoing all the necessary medical treatments to treat your condition. Whether you’re living with a condition that is life-threatening, extremely serious or completely debilitating, palliative care can be an essential source of support.
Do I need palliative care even after being treated?
If you’ve received successful treatment for a condition, then depending on your recovery you may not require further palliative care. However, it’s important to note that palliative care isn’t exclusively reserved for people with a terminal illness. In fact, in recent years palliative care has become a medical solution that focuses on a much broader range of serious conditions, and this can include recovering from a physically taxing course of treatment.
Continuing palliative care after treatment can aid the recovery process, helping you to manage common symptoms such as fatigue, stress, anxiety, depression and pain. Often, people appreciate the emotional support and companionship that comes from having a palliative carer to support you on your road to recovery. Even if your condition no longer necessitates that you receive palliative care, you may still find it extremely beneficial in the short or medium term.