What You Need to Know about Palliative Care At Home

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At-home palliative care offers private and compassionate care to people with life-limiting illnesses. Many people prefer to receive treatment in the familiar and comfortable setting of home instead of a crowded long-term facility. At-home palliative care provides a unique caregiving approach, focusing on increasing patients’ quality of life by relieving any pain associated with the illness, both physical and emotional.

Do you know someone with a severe condition? Are you discussing long-term healthcare options for your loved one? Consider the advantages of incorporating at-home palliative care into your overall treatment plan.

Who Qualifies for Palliative Care?

Surgical oncologist Dr. Balfour Mount first coined the term “palliative care” in the early 1970s, but such a specific type of care for life-limiting illnesses has been practiced since the 1950s. Doctors wanted their patients to receive holistic care to alleviate the pain suffered from medication, harsh treatment, and the emotional turmoil of having a serious condition. 

Palliative care is available to people with life-limiting diseases, including:

  • Cancer
  • Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Heart Disease 
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • And others

Unlike hospice care, patients can receive palliative care as soon as there is an official diagnosis from a healthcare professional, instead of only during near end-of-life phase. Your loved one can receive such care and support throughout the entire duration of the disease. 

What Does It Involve?

Palliative care comprises three facets of care: physical pain management, emotional and social support, and integrated teamwork. While your loved ones will receive clinical treatment from their doctors, they’ll also have a team of professional caregivers who will offer the additional support they’ll need to increase their quality of life. 

Emotional and Social Support 

The right home healthcare agency integrates professional healthcare with compassion from caregivers and nurses. They’ll offer companionship and a hand to hold during challenging, lonely moments in your friend or family member’s life. They’ll also act as your loved one’s mental health advocate and can help you, and your loved one find any required counselling or social work during this emotionally taxing time. 

Pain Management 

Palliative care nurses and caregivers provide pain management by administering prescription medications and communicating directly with doctors to ensure they’re on the same page about patients’ physical pain levels. Find an agency that offers massage therapy from Registered Massage Therapists (RMTs). Massage therapy is a proven pain-relieving technique that helps people with life-limiting illnesses sleep soundly, feel better, and relax. 

Integrated Teamwork

One of the most significant benefits of palliative care for patients is having many healthcare professionals working round-the-clock by their side. The combination of professional caregivers and nurses at home, working closely with your loved one’s medical team outside of the house, creates smoother communication on behalf of your friend or family member. Palliative care’s goal is to bring joy and comfort to patients. Without a palliative care team, your loved one would not have that extra layer of support to help them express their wants and needs clearly. 

Your loved one deserves the very best care right now. Palliative care enables patients to have more people to talk to and more hands to hold, all in the comfort of home.

About Author

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LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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