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WHAT IS PALLIATIVE CARE ?

Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients (adults and children) and theirfamilies who are facing problems associated with life-threatening illness. It prevents and relieves suffering through the early identification, correct assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, whether physical, psychosocial or spiritual.

https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/palliative-care

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

  • It puts the patients goals, desires, and decisions first
  • Improves quality of life by focusing on the care of the whole individual (body, mind and spirit)
  • Improves communication between patients, their families, other caregivers and healthcare providers
  • Helps patients and families understand treatment goals and plan
  • Provides control of pain and other distressing symptoms,thus enabling comfort
  • Reduces unnecessary investigations and hospital visits through home based care and other follow up methods
  • Enables patients to maintain connections with families and friends
  • Adds quality life to days and not just days to life by reducing pain and suffering.

                               

WHO CAN BENEFIT?

All patients with serious illnesses – children, adults, elderly with their families and caregivers.

From the point of diagnosis of serious illness (cancer, HIV/AIDS, stroke and neurological diseases, Organ failures – liver, kidney, lungs etc )throughout the illness and especially towards the end-of-life and bereavement.

Series I – Pain relief methods

ASK ABOUT THE PAIN AND BELIEVE THE PATIENT

Assess and re-assess after treatment as appropriate using:

  1. Pain-relieving medicines
  2. Physical therapies such as massage, heat or cold packs, exercise and hydrotherapy
  3. Psychological therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy, relaxation techniques and meditation
  4. Mind and body techniques such as acupuncture
  5. Occupational therapy
  6. Community support groups

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