- Are you or your loved one are seeing a diminished quality of life due to the effects of a disease and its treatment?
- Do you or your loved one often require consultations regarding medication and pain management?
- Are your symptoms so overwhelming that your relationships with your family and friends are becoming infrequent and strained?
Thanks to modern medicine, some terrible diseases have become preventable, treatable, or far less common. Breakthrough drugs and technologies have given physicians new tools to combat serious conditions and prolong a patient’s life expectancy.
Yet fighting these illnesses can produce painful symptoms both from the disease and from its treatment. The struggle to cope with these symptoms can be so consuming that it effectively keeps patients from focusing on anything else in their life. When this situation arises, the priority is to find relief so that the patient has a better quality of life. Palliative care, sometimes called “comfort care,” uses sophisticated methods to minimize pain and adverse symptoms.
How does palliative care manage pain?
There are proven therapies that you and your doctors can use to keep pain at bay. When it comes to medication, there are specific drugs that palliative care physicians commonly prescribe for moderate to severe pain arising from a serious, life-threatening illness. You may have to try several different medications, or different combinations of medications, to find the ones that are right for you or your loved one. A good palliative care team will work with you to help find the most effective drugs and minimize any side effects.
Does palliative care go beyond physical relief?
The physical problems resulting from a serious illness may include pain, trouble sleeping, loss of appetite, and shortness of breath. But a serious illness affects more than just the body; it touches all areas of a person's life, as well as the lives of that person's family members. So palliative care may also include emotional and social support, as well as guidance on practical issues or spiritual needs.
Who administers palliative care?
While receiving palliative care, people can remain under the care of their regular medical team and still receive treatment for their disease.
- Palliative care may be delivered by:
- Doctors, nurses and nurse practitioners
- Registered dietitians
- Social workers
- Massage therapists
Palliative care is a specific specialty
Hospitals, home care agencies, cancer centers, or long-term care facilities may offer palliative care and consultations. Some providers specialize in palliative care and have assembled the teams and resources needed to consistently deliver expert care.
What is the difference between palliative care and hospice care?
Some organizations provide both hospice and palliative care, so people sometimes think palliative care and hospice care are the same. Both palliative care and hospice care provide comfort. Palliative care can begin at diagnosis and can coincide with treatment for a disease. Hospice care includes palliative care, but hospice care begins when it is clear that the person is not going to survive the illness and has decided to no longer seek curative treatment.
We can be your trusted partner
The fact that you are exploring palliative care is a very positive sign. It means you are considering how to bring relief to an extremely ill person and their family. Nathan Adelson Hospice in conjunction with The Elaine Wynn Palliative Care Program focuses on relieving and preventing pain, symptoms, and stress. The Palliative Care Team can be your trusted partner, helping you understand your treatment options and goals. For answers to your questions, additional information, or to discuss palliative care, call the Nathan Adelson team at 702.947.6980.
The philosophy of Nathan Adelson Hospice is to provide support and care in the last phase of a terminal condition so that people may live as fully and comfortably as possible. We do all we can to make sure that no one in our care ends the journey of life alone, afraid or in pain.