Click HERE to watch world-famous author, speaker and Palliative Care doctor Ira Byock talk about the future of palliative care- filmed in Sun Valley.
You may have heard of a new medical term – palliative care (pronounced PAH-LEE-UH-TIVE). For the last thirty years, palliative care has been provided by hospice programs for dying Americans. Currently these programs serve more than 1.2 million patients and their families each year. Now this very same approach to care is being used by other healthcare providers, including teams in hospitals, nursing facilities and home health agencies in combination with other medical treatments to help people who are seriously ill.
To palliate means to make comfortable by treating a person’s symptoms from an illness. Hospice and palliative care both focus on helping a person be comfortable by addressing issues causing physical or emotional pain, or suffering. Hospice and other palliative care providers have teams of people working together to provide care. The goals of palliative care are to improve the quality of a seriously ill person’s life and to support that person and their family during and after treatment.
Hospice focuses on relieving symptoms and supporting patients with a life expectancy of months not years, and their families. However, palliative care may be given at any time during a person’s illness, from diagnosis on. Most hospices have a set of defined services, team members and rules and regulations. Some hospices provide palliative care as a separate program or service, which can be very confusing. The list of questions below provides answers to common questions about the difference between hospice and palliative care.
* Information provided by NHPCO's Caring Connections. www.caringinfo.org
Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problemsundefinedphysical, psychosocial and spiritual. Palliative care:
The Five Principles of Palliative Care are a vision for better care at the end of life. They were developed for people who are dying, their families, and their loved ones by the Last Acts Task Forces on Palliative Care and the Family. The goal of palliative care is to achieve the best quality of life for patients and their families. The principles describe what care can and should be like for everyone facing the end of life. Some of these ideas may seem simple or just common sense. But all together they give a new and more complete way to look at care at the end of life. Many hospitals and medical centers are offering palliative care programs. Ask for information about palliative care programs in your area from your doctor, nurse and other members of your care team. Complete article and resources available at Elder Care On Line.