Options in Care: Palliative Care

IMG_5501

Are you caring for someone who has a terminal condition? Medical advancements have come a long way.  Even so, your doctor may be forced to sit down with you, your loved one, and other family members to consider the possibility that the best course of treatment going forward is to keep the patient comfortable. Free of pain and discomfort, your loved one can enjoy their remaining days and weeks with loved ones. This option of care is called palliative care.

Palliative care is a type of specialized medical care that focuses on the comfort of a person who has a severe illness or disease. The goal of palliative care is to improve the quality of life for the patient and their family in their remaining days, weeks, or months. Provided by a team of doctors, nurses, and other specialists who are trained in this method of care and work alongside the patient’s regular medical team, palliative care may be used alongside curative medicine, or it may be chosen in place of painful or unpleasant restorative treatments. One is never too old or too young to receive palliative care. Click here for more resources to help you better understand how palliative care works.

Palliative care teams often work alongside hospice at the end of life to give the patient relief from pain and discomfort related to their disease as it progresses. Such symptoms as fatigue, depression, and shortness of breath may be improved through the use of palliative care practices.

As with hospice services, palliative care should not be frightening or even discouraging for one who has faith in an afterlife with their risen Savior. With an enhanced quality of life and pain managed, your terminally ill loved one might have the time and opportunity to say important things to those around him or her. These final days and weeks can create beautiful memories with children, grandchildren, and others when the patient is in no discomfort but still able to engage with others.

Chris and I hope you will join our conversation this week at Heart of the Caregiver and share your heart about how palliative care practices have enhanced the life of someone you know.

 

Advertisements

Checking In

When we launched Heart of the Caregiver almost a year ago, we opened with a series of blogs focused on family caregiver wellness. After a year, I think it is time for a check-up, so how are you doing?

Are you taking time for yourself on a regular basis?

Are you finding ways to nurture your spiritual health?

How about your social life? Do you get together with friends from time to time and take a break from caregiving?

Are you making healthy choices in what you eat, and getting regular exercise of some kind?

Do you have a support network that can back you up when you need a break?

Click here for tips from the National Institutes of Health on taking care of yourself.

Check out these ideas for more suggestions.

Remember to give yourself regular check-ups to maintain your health in all these areas.

When you take care of yourself, you will do a better job of caring for others. We hope you will join the conversation this week at Heart of the Caregiver and share your heart about the things you do regularly to care for yourself that enable you to care for others.

IMG_4986

This week I am thinking about my mother, who would have been 98 years old on August 21. This picture was taken in 2017, her last birthday with my brother and me. Chris and I drew our inspiration for Heart of the Caregiver from my experiences with my mother over the last decade of her life. I’d like to take a moment here to thank you for joining us on this journey and sharing our stories and insights with others who need the support of this community. We pray the information and wisdom you find here provides strength and inspiration that empowers you to face each day with renewed hope and determination. You are someone’s hero, whether you know it or not!