3 Ways Palliative Treatment Helps Patients with Symptom Relief
For many people, the goal of treating an illness is to cure it. You get a cold, and you want to take medicine so that you don’t have the cold anymore. You find out you have diabetes, you want to take medicine that controls your blood sugar. You find out you have cancer, you want to get surgery to take out the tumor or get chemotherapy to get rid of the cancer cells.
However, some illnesses can’t be cured or treated. The only thing we can do is treat the symptoms to try to provide some relief from the pain and discomfort that patients feel. That is the goal of palliative care, which is often a partner to Mesa hospice care for those dealing with long-term or terminal illnesses. Palliative treatment in East Mesa primarily strives to improve the quality of life for patients and their families, and that is usually accomplished by providing some relief from symptoms.
Here are just three ways that palliative treatment helps patients get relief from some of their overwhelming symptoms:
Improve Quality of Sleep
Often, people who are struggling with a serious illness have major problems with sleep. They may not be able to sleep, and when they do, they may not get very good sleep. They may wind up feeling fatigued most of the time, and their other symptoms may become exacerbated by their lack of sleep.
A palliative care team will work to help the patient get a higher quality of sleep. The team will address any pain that may be keeping the patient awake, and will then move on to emotional or mental issues, such as anxiety or fear about dying. Counseling or other therapy may be offered to give the patient peace of mind, and medication may be prescribed to help with mood or to promote sleep. Relaxation therapies like massage or acupuncture may also be offered.
When patients are not eating, their bodies become weaker and their symptoms can worsen. They can become more tired, feel greater pain, and become sick more often. Sometimes patients don’t eat because they are depressed, but sometimes they don’t eat because their physical symptoms are sapping their energy, reducing the hormones that promote hunger, or making them too nauseous to eat.
The palliative care team will first try to understand what is causing the reduced appetite before coming up with a treatment plan. For example, if nausea is making it hard for the patient to eat, the team will find ways to relieve the nausea, such as by prescribing medications that help with it or providing other comfort measures. The goal is to improve the patient’s appetite and to increase the overall enjoyment of the food so that the patient gets more nutrition and has more strength and a greater ability to heal.
Chronic pain can impair the patient’s overall quality of life, affecting everything from sleep and energy levels to mood and appetite. Palliative treatment is often focused on relieving pain, which is why it often goes together with hospice care for people struggling with degenerative and terminal illnesses.
Pain relief can come in many forms. It can come from alternative therapies like massage therapy or acupuncture. It can come from effective medication management. It can come from environmental control. A palliative team will explore all the options to get optimal pain relief for the patient and make caring for the patient easier for the family.
Palliative care is essential to improving the quality of life for seriously ill patients who are receiving hospice care either at home or in a facility. There are many more ways that palliative treatment helps patients manage their symptoms or find relief from them.
Americare Hospice and Palliative Care provides comprehensive care for patients at the end of their life or who are dealing with serious illnesses in Mesa, Arizona. Our compassionate team provides care for the whole family to help everyone through this trying time. We also offer services like grief counseling, therapy, and spiritual counseling. Contact Americare Hospice and Palliative Care in Mesa, Arizona today, to learn more about how we can help your seriously ill loved one and your family. We offer care in home and in an in-patient facility.
1212 N. Spencer St., Suite #2
Mesa, Arizona 85203
Office: (480) 726-7773
Fax: (480) 726-7790