palliative care heart with stethoscope

FAQ: What is Palliative Care & How Can It Help My Elderly Loved One?

If you or an elderly loved one are suffering from a chronic illness or disease, there are options that can help improve your quality of life, manage your illness even if there is no cure, and provide caregiver support. If you’ve heard the term “Palliative care” you may be wondering what defines this type of care, who can benefit from it, and if it can help your elderly loved one. There are many misconceptions surrounding Palliative care and when it can be used. Below we’ve broken down what it is, and the potential benefits this type of care can have for your elderly loved one.

 

What is Palliative Care?

This type of care is often confused with Hospice care, but unlike hospice care, it isn’t just for people who are terminally ill. Palliative care is for individuals who have a serious illness or disease, and it can be utilized whether this illness or disease is curable, chronic, or life threatening. Some examples include: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Congestive Heart Failure (CHF), Renal disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and Dementia.

 

Palliative care is made up of a team of specially trained doctors, nurses, caregivers, social workers, and other specialists who work hand in hand with the patient’s primary doctor to provide additional support, and can be provided along with treatment. This support can extend to the family caregivers of a patient. The ultimate goal is to improve the quality of life for both your loved one suffering from the illness or disease, as well as create a support system for you, the caregiver.

 

This care can be received from the time of diagnosis, and can be utilized throughout the course of the disease or illness. It can be provided at home, in the hospital, and in long-term care facilities, so your loved one can receive the support they need wherever it’s most convenient.

 

Benefits of Palliative Care for Seniors

While Palliative care can be used at any age, it is especially helpful for seniors suffering from chronic disease and illness. This type of care can help relieve the aches, pains, and discomforts related to your elderly loved one’s health condition which can include, but aren’t limited to: Pain, nausea, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, depression, and difficulty sleeping. By relieving these symptoms, and side effects from medication or treatment, a better quality of life can be achieved.

 

The specially trained team of doctors, nurses, and caregivers will also provide a loved one’s family with emotional support, and can provide guidance when it comes to making complex medical decisions.

 

Palliative care is one of the many services provided by Loretto, and our highly trained network of staff will cater to each individual’s needs to achieve the continuum of care needed. You can learn more here, or feel free to contact us! With over 19 specialized programs and facilities, we can help you find the programs and services that will best serve you or a loved one.

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