Palliative care has been thought of as only for older patients with terminal illnesses prior to their entering into a hospice program; however palliative care is now focused on providing patients relief from pain and stress and to improve their quality of life. Although Palliative care can help patients of all ages it is particularly helpful for older Americans. It can be provided at the same time as curative medical treatment and helps patients cope with the side effects of both their disease as well as their treatment for specific disease. It helps patients and their families make medical and life decisions and better understand the patient's condition and the treatment they are undergoing.
Many hospitals now provide palliative care programs and others have created outpatient clinics to help patients handle and even prevent crises. These programs often help avoid trips to the ER and make patents more comfortable physically and mentally at home or in a non-hospital environment.
Examples of palliative care:
- Symptoms include loss of memory, speech, use of limbs and visual impairments.
- Treatment includes depression and/or anger therapy and counseling/explanation to assist the patient understand the recovery process and the time frames involved.
Congestive Heart Failure
- Symptoms include swollen feet and ankles usually coupled with breathing problems.
- Treatments include lymphatic draining to reduce leg swelling and pain.
Tip to Avoid Falls
- Symptoms include confusion and worry about treatment decisions and associated pain, nausea, loss of hair, etc.
- Treatment includes counseling and help with eating problems, fatigue and mental anguish during chemo and radiation.
Physicians have determined that just touching the wall or any stationary object with your hand or arm sends a signal to the brain which helps you keep your balance. This is very helpful while taking a shower as many injuries occur particularly when your eyes are closed while washing your hair. Just having your elbow touching the shower stall wall will help you keep your balance.