What is Palliative Care
Palliative care improves quality of life of patient and families who face life threatening disease, by providing pain and symptom relief, spiritual and psychosocial support from diagnosis to end of life. Majority of cancer patients are in advanced stages of cancer when first seen by medical professional. For them, only factual treatment option is pain relief and palliative care. Effective approaches to palliative care are available to improve quality of life for cancer patient.
Palliative medicine focuses on quality of life and the alleviation of symptoms in patients with serious illness. It aims to consider the physical, mental, spiritual, and social well-being of patients and their families in order to maintain hope while ensuring patient dignity and respecting autonomy. Palliative care medicine encompasses both consultative palliative care for patients with serious illnesses, and hospice care for patients at the end-of-life (EOL).
Palliative care is appropriate at any stage of a serious illness whether the goal is cure or maximizing quality of life.. When cure or life prolongation is no longer possible, palliative care becomes the central component of treatment. Whereas hospice is only appropriate for patients whose prognosis is 6 months or less, consultative palliative care can assess and treat patients anywhere along the chronic disease trajectory, regardless of prognosis.
Role of IHHC in Palliative Care
– Palliative care is best introduced early, not at the end of an illness
– Health care professional from IHHC assesses the patient condition
– Prepares a comprehensive care plan according to the patient condition
– Choose the right field staff who can handle all the situations according to the patient condition
– Explain the patient condition and risk factors involved in the patient care to the patient relatives
– An active palliative approach may actually prolong life while controlling symptoms at the same time
– Treatment ‘success’ is defined by the goals that are set and not by cure
– Main objective is to provide a calm and comfortable atmosphere to the patient to reduce their pain and anxiety.