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Palliative Care Definition

It is a specialized form of medical care designed for individuals living with a serious illness. This approach to care primarily focuses on alleviating the symptoms and the emotional stress associated with the illness. The ultimate objective is to enhance the quality of life for both the patient and their family.

Palliative care is administered by a team of medical professionals, including doctors, nurses, and other specialists, who collaborate closely with the patient’s existing healthcare providers.

It serves as an additional layer of support and is tailored to the individual’s specific needs, irrespective of the patient’s prognosis. Palliative care is suitable for people of any age and can be provided concurrently with curative treatment.

Palliative care teams prioritize the improvement of the patient’s quality of life. They focus on addressing the symptoms and stress associated with serious illnesses such as cancer, congestive heart failure (CHF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), kidney disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), and numerous others.

The primary goal of palliative care is to relieve suffering and enhance the overall quality of life for both patients and their families. This includes addressing symptoms like pain, depression, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite, sleep difficulties, and anxiety.

The palliative care team is dedicated to assisting patients in regaining the strength to continue their daily lives. In essence, palliative care plays a crucial role in enhancing the patient’s well-being.