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What is Palliative Care? Everything To Know About Palliative Care

By September 1, 2022July 7th, 2023No Comments
What is palliative care? | Active Home Health & Hospice

When you or a loved one are faced with a serious illness, this experience can be overwhelming, stressful, and life-changing. In addition to decisions about medical treatments related to the illness, you may face other physical, emotional, and spiritual challenges stemming from the disease. Palliative care in Utah, from a local home health health and hospice company like Active, can help your loved one living along the Wasatch Front. You are not meant to navigate pain, healing, or caregiving alone; palliative care from trusted providers is available to help during life’s most difficult health challenges.

What is the difference between palliative care and hospice | Active Home Health & Hospice

What is palliative care?

Palliative care, also known as comfort care, focuses on providing the highest quality of life possible for those with a serious illness. Palliative care focuses on easing pain, discomfort, and stress caused by an illness. Regardless of a patient’s age, prognosis, disease, or choice of treatment, palliative care in Utah focuses on a patient’s needs and is offered alongside any medical care they may already be receiving at any time or stage of a significant illness.

Palliative care is extra support from a team of specialists focused on improving your quality of life and can include:

  • Palliative care physicians
  • Certified palliative care nurses
  • Social workers
  • Nutritionists
  • Physical therapists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Speech therapists
  • Spiritual or religious leaders

A palliative care team varies based on the patient’s needs and the level of care needed. Their focus is to offer medical, social, emotional, and practical support for any length of time a patient, their caregivers, and loved ones want or need.

Does palliative care include curative treatment?

Palliative care is medical care and treatment offered alongside curative treatment and often helps alleviate or address side effects and consequences of a patient’s curative treatment. When you and your loved one are coping with a serious illness or going through treatment for severe disease, you can be affected by a range of symptoms that may include:

  • Pain and discomfort
  • Depression
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Anxiety
  • And other disease-related symptoms

A palliative care team will address these symptoms and provide solutions to improve your quality of life. You can view palliative care as an added layer of support and more holistic care that can provide relief from symptoms and decrease the stress of a serious illness or its curative treatments. It helps provide a smooth transition to hospice, or end-of-life care.

Palliative Care questions | Active Home Health & Hospice
Palliative Care Utah | Active Home Health

How is palliative care different from other home health care services?

Other home health care services directly focus on helping patients recover from an illness or injury, regain their independence, and become as self-sufficient as possible. Palliative care is a form of home health care. Still, instead of directly focusing on the illness, it focuses on the patient’s well-being and strives to increase that well-being regardless of prognosis or treatment choices.

Unlike other home health care services that are offered with minor surgeries, illness, and aging at any time, palliative care is provided only in light of chronic, severe, or quality-of-life limiting diseases, such as:

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Congestive heart failure (CHF)
  • Chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD)
  • Cancer
  • Alzheimer’s and other dementias
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Others

Palliative care can help patients understand their choices for medical treatments and is particularly useful soon after a significant diagnosis.

Where is palliative care offered?

Like home health care and hospice care, palliative care can be offered anywhere you call home. Some of the places you can receive care include:

  • Personal home
  • Friend or family’s home
  • Assisted living facilities
  • Independent living
  • And so much more

When is palliative care appropriate?

Palliative care is appropriate for all ages and circumstances involving an individual with a serious illness. Palliative care is there to navigate the additional stress and increase your quality of life. It is appropriate at any time, whether you or someone you know has recently been diagnosed with a severe disease and needs extra support or whether you have struggled with an ongoing illness for years. Your palliative care team will develop a plan that works for you, your goals, and your needs, making palliative care appropriate for many people in many different situations.

What is the difference between palliative care and hospice care?

Palliative care is available to anyone living with a serious illness and focuses on helping people have the highest quality of life possible. You can still receive treatment for your condition with palliative care, and there are no timeline or treatment requirements.

Utah hospice company, Active Home Health & Hospice, focuses on the care, comfort, and quality of life of a person who cannot be cured or chooses not to undergo curative treatments. Hospice care is available to those approaching the end of life and generally have less than six months to live.

The goal of palliative care is to provide a smooth transition to hospice. This transition helps patients avoid a prolonged dying experience, attain a sense of closure and understanding and hold on to lasting memories and more enjoyable moments.

Utah Palliative Care | Active Home Health & Hospice
Palliative Care Company in Utah | Active Home Health & Hospice

How long does someone live under palliative care?

Palliative care has no timeline and is not conditional on whether or not an illness is terminal. Instead, palliative care is available to patients and caretakers in order to increase their quality of life during some, all, or parts of their journey with a serious illness and its treatments. Thus, some patients may use palliative care until they are fully recovered or in remission. Others may use palliative care until they feel additional care is no longer needed or wanted. Generally, patients may transfer from palliative care to a hospice care company as part of their end-of-life care wishes.

How long does someone live under hospice care?

The transition from palliative care to hospice care begins when a doctor or physician believes that the patient has fewer than six months to live. At this point, treatments aimed at curing an illness are stopped, and the disease is left to run its natural course. However, patients do not discontinue all treatments or medications. They continue to take medications for symptom management and other ailments as long as it is reasonable and necessary in providing comfort.

People enrolled in Medicare in the United States can receive hospice care if their health care provider believes they have less than six months to live should the disease takes its usual course. Patients can also receive hospice for longer than six months. The hospice medical director must simply recertify that the patient remains eligible for hospice due to their continued decline.

Where can I find the best palliative care and hospice care company in Utah?

As caring local registered nurses and healthcare administrators around the state, we recognized that many palliative care and hospice care companies in Utah could and should do better. We began Active Home Health, Hospice & Personal Care to positively impact patient well-being and the standard of palliative care in Utah. Active Home Health, Hospice & Personal Care focuses on improving the standard of patient care in the home and actively serving those we care for in their journey through life.

With over 35 years of combined healthcare experience, excellence in patient service and care, and services in over 70 cities across six Utah counties, we have the resources and skills available for your unique needs. Contact us today for help finding the right care for your loved one.

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