Palliative care for end of life treatment is never an easy decision. But for people living with a terminal illness and those who love them, it may be the best decision. Palliative care is all about quality of life and comfort in the end stages of a disease; though it’s not aimed at quickening or postponing death, it is about making the most out of what time you have left.
Some people may wonder what their options are when it comes to palliative care for end of life treatment. Here are some facts to help you learn more about this type of respite care.
- It’s not just for the elderly. Palliative care is for anyone with a terminal diagnosis at any phase of their treatment, from cancer to various pulmonary disorders. Unlike hospice, it can be used at any time alongside other treatment plans to make sure the patient is as comfortable, active, and alert as is safely possible.
- Palliative care can be administered at home or in a facility. Many people decide upon receiving a terminal diagnosis that they’d rather move home than stay in the hospital, which is perfectly fine along with at-home skilled nursing care. But other people don’t have that option. Instead of a hospital, people may opt for long-term care services in a nursing home. Nursing homes aren’t just for the elderly, either; they’re for anyone who needs around-the-clock attention. Most facilities have skilled nurses and nurse aids on staff 24 hours a day.
- It offers care for the care-givers, too. An important part of palliative care for end of life patients is caring for the caregivers. Respite care is when nurses and aides take over the patient’s immediate care so that loved ones can deal with daily tasks or simply relax with time to themselves. It’s important to provide comfort, care, and dignity to all affected by terminal illness, even those who don’t have to suffer through the disease itself.
Choosing end of life care is never an easy decision, but it is often a necessary one. With palliative care, you and your loved ones can rest easy knowing that, whatever options you choose, there will be a team of trained medical staff there to help support you — physically and emotionally — throughout your journey.