Life-threatening illnesses don’t just affect the patient’s physical health. Their relationship with themselves and their families could be at risk. But palliative care is more than just medicines and physical rehabilitation.
What Is Palliative Care?
World Health Organization says palliative care helps achieve a better quality of life. Its main goal is to prevent suffering and provide relief for both the patients and families. It addresses their physical, psychosocial, and spiritual needs.
Palliative care can be given during the diagnosis, the treatment, the follow-up, or the end of life. It can be given during the treatment along with the medicines meant for the illness.
This can be given to patients that suffer from:
- Lung diseases
- Heart diseases
- ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)
This type of care ensures the patient and their family dying is a normal process. There’s no intention of either postponing or hastening death. Palliative care only ensures that the patient and family is ready for anything.
That said, many of palliative care’s procedure is based on psychology. There are counseling sessions for both patients and family members. If needed, families can also get help during bereavement.
Who Provides Palliative Care?
Any healthcare professional can provide palliative care. In fact, many hospitals provide it. But there are some who specializes in it.
This can be given by the following people:
- A team of doctors
- Nurse practitioners
- Physician assistants
- Massage therapists
- Social workers
You can get this by going to several palliative care specialists near your area. You can ask your hospital, cancer centers or home care agencies for their address.
Psychological Side Of Palliative Care
Read peer-reviewed articles and dissertation on palliative care. From there, you’ll know psychology plays a major role in it.
Many patients who suffer from long-term and life-threatening illnesses develop depression. For many who suffer from cancer and life-threatening illnesses, death is inevitable. But the thought of having to leave behind is scary.
They tend to overthink which can cause anxiety. Some even develop other types of psychological distress.
Depression can be a side effect of medicines and treatments too.
The same goes for the families of the patient. It’s normal for them to think and believe that it’s unfair that their family is going through this hardship. Closest relatives especially the parents, siblings, and children often go through this more.
Treating depression and anxiety is as important as treating the illness itself. These mental health issues can disable the patient to live a better life. Instead of being active, the days will be spent in bed.
And without better mental health, treatments may not go as planned. Your body could refuse certain treatments.
It’s because your brain doesn’t work as effectively as possible. You might be thinking and expecting the worse. What your mind tells you can have an effect in real life.
Counseling is common in palliative care alongside many physical treatments. Psychologists and social workers do one-on-one and group counselings. These can help everyone to overcome depressive episodes.
Professionals will have to ease everyone into the concept of death. It’s an important topic to discuss. They will also help the family to understand that grieving is normal.
Writing essays can help those who aren’t keen on sharing their thoughts verbally.
Palliative care is as important as treating the illness itself. The end is the hardest point in anyone’s life – even for those who are left behind. But it’s inevitable.
Palliative care ensures everyone gets to continue living life as normally as possible.
If you wish to know more about this, you can read peer-reviewed dissertations and articles. You can also ask the nearest hospital or palliative care center near you.