Hi, Fellow Community Members!
This week, Troy Diffenderfer of SeniorCaring.com guest blogs for us and shares with our community myths about palliative care.
The words “palliative care” can often bring about hushed tones and a somber mood, because many people automatically think of death. While palliative care does deal with those suffering from terminal illness, this does not mean that palliative care is a place for those suffering from illness to be “put out to pasture.” When it comes to death and the process of passing peacefully, many often hold a very narrow and often inaccurate opinion of palliative care. Therefore, we’ve decided to debunk a few myths about palliative care. Palliative care helps thousands of people every year in the U.S. so it’s important to make sure that you’re making an informed decision when the time comes.
Four Myths About Palliative Care
It’s Just About Pain Relief
One of the biggest myths about palliative care is that its sole purpose is to make the transition into death as painless as possible. While it is true that palliative care providers want you to be comfortable, pain relief is not the only thing they care about. Just as frequently, palliative care is used to help manage symptoms other than pain that result from a serious illness or its treatment. These symptoms include nausea, breathlessness, dizziness, and a handful of other ailments. Another major misconception that many have about palliative care is that their loved one will be pumped full of morphine during their stay. While morphine may work in some cases, with proper pain assessment, the Palliative Medicine Specialist can use a combination of medicine to provide the best pain relief with minimal side effects.
Palliative Care is the Same As Hospice Care
Palliative care is often confused with hospice care. This confusion stems not only from the patients and families; it also comes from seasoned healthcare providers. This is partly because palliative care is a relatively new practice with its roots in hospice. While hospice care offers the basic necessities that go into having a peaceful death, palliative care puts together a team of physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals to not only ease patients into the final stage in
You May No Longer Receive Aggressive Treatments
When other treatments aren’t finding success, many will opt to try new, and often aggressive forms of treatment. Many assume that once you decide to transition to palliative care, you will essentially be giving up on combatting your ailment. However, the best outcome for patients is when they receive palliative care upon diagnosis of a serious illness while pursuing a cure. Palliative care doesn’t signal that a person has given up hope for a
It’s Only Offered In Hospitals
Similar to hospice care, there are specially designed facilities that will offer palliative care in a relaxed and comfortable setting. Or, another possibility is to simply see a doctor and staff that specialize in palliative care. Just like you’d go to a cardiologist for your heart, you can make an appointment to visit a palliative care specialist. You will find that workers in palliative care rejoice in the opportunities they are given to form close relationships with their patients, families and each other. Many nurses will say, ‘This is why I chose to train as a nurse.’ They recognize the patience,
If you’re still looking for more information on palliative care, and other forms of home care, check out the resource section at SeniorCaring.com.