Palliative care is care that makes patients as comfortable as possible and that prevents and relieves suffering. And, although it is part of end-of-life care, it can be applied to care for people in any stage of disease. Palliative care allows for medical therapies, but focuses on:
Improving quality of life
Reaching the best possible function (for example, daily activities, physical activity, self care)
Helping with decision-making about end-of-life care
Providing emotional support to patients and their families
Walk with your health care provider or local hospital about whether or not palliative care is available in your area. Check with your health plan to see whether this type of care is covered.
Patient's rights are a list of rights to ensure that the quality of care, respect, and decision-making processes will be honored by the company, individual, or institution that is providing his or her care. These rights will be given to the patient and family before care begins. It is similar to a contract that provides protection for the patient and family, and informs them of services and limitations of the caregiver(s).
The services most palliative care providers can offer are extensive. The following are some of the services offered:
Psychosocial support and intervention to help the patient and family members
Equipment for delivery of medications, nutrition, oxygen, and suction
Equipment including special beds, toilets, chairs, wheelchairs, and bath requirements
Skilled nursing care, doctors, pharmacists, and other specialists
Medication and nutrition support
Spiritual, religious, and cultural needs and requests
Special services for siblings or children (for example, support groups)
Respite care allowing the family to rest