Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problems associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial, and spiritual.
Each patient is unique in the symptoms they experience during life-theatening illness. However common symptoms include:
- Reduced appetite;
- Respiratory secretions;
- Nausea and vomiting;
- Shortness of breath;
- Restlessness and confusion.
- Tiredness and fatigue;
- Weakness or paralysis of muscles.
Any life-threating illness may cause physical, psychosocial, and spiritual distress to a patient.
The aim of palliative care is to provide:
- Information for the person and their family;
- Accurate and holistic assessment of a person’s needs;
- Symptom control;
- Psychological, social, spiritual, and practical support;
- Open and sensitive communication with the person and their family.
An accurate and holistic assessment of a person’s needs is necessary to provide good quality care to patients.
Multidisciplinary specialist services are required to provide this assessment, advice and care for patients in their preferred place of care.