Palliative Care is an area of healthcare that focuses on relieving and preventing the suffering of patients. Palliative treatment/care is appropriate for sufferers in all stages of a life threatening disease journey, it is not just for people who are nearing the end of life.
“Being a part of our local palliative care network, from a relative early stage of my late wife Julie’s journey surviving with both peritoneal and separate pleural mesothelioma, allowed me to look after Julie at home for her entire three year plus journey. Between Julie and I, and nurses (along with care aids/equipment) provided by our local palliative care/hospice network, we were able to maintain Julie a quality of life, and control her pain throughout her entire mesothelioma journey. Without the help and support provided by our local palliative care network I would never have been able to envisage doing this, let alone actually doing it.”
– Rod Smith (former) Bernie Banton Foundation MARSupport Co-ordinator
Whilst most people think of palliative care as being only for those in the very end stage of life, it is so much more – palliative care is not just for those near to death, but is very much for those living with a life-limiting or terminal illness, regardless of what stage the illness may be at. Making early use of palliative care services often prolongs and improves quality of life. The time when someone is diagnosed is the time to join up – even if it is not needed. Palliative care is an extremely important part of SUPPORTIVE CARE OPTIONS that you should have in your armoury.
Palliative Care utilises a multi-disciplinary approach to a sufferer’s care, relying on input from physicians, pharmacists, nurses, chaplains, social workers, psychologists and other allied professionals in formulating a plan of care to relieve suffering in all areas of a patient’s life. This multidisciplinary approach allows the palliative care team to address physical, emotional, spiritual, and social concerns that arise from suffering an illness.
Treatments and medications are said to have a palliative effect if they relieve symptoms without having a curative effect on the underlying disease or cause. They can include:
- Treating nausea related to chemotherapy;
- Using morphine, methadone, or other drugs to treat the pain associated with mesothelioma or another asbestos related disease;
- Devising and providing specialist dietary requirements;
- Treating sores and wounds such as bed sores etc.; and
- Supplying oxygen to help ease breathlessness (if needed and deemed appropriate by the treating physician).
- General Practitioner;
- Respiratory Physician;
- Thoracic Physician;
- Community Support Organisation;
- Social Worker; or
- Local hospice organisation.
- Home help nursing care;
- Supplying specialist aids:
- Wheel chairs.
- Shower seats;
- Medical air-beds etc.; or
- Being admitted for care at a hospice care facility.