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Posted on: 29.01.2021

What Is Palliative Care?

Palliative care is given to individuals with life-limiting conditions such as cancer. The aim of palliative care is to provide individuals living with these life-limiting conditions the best quality of life possible.

Often, in palliative care, the focus is on managing both pain and other symptoms, as well as providing practical and emotional support to both the individual and their families/loved ones.

Who provides palliative care?

Palliative care is delivered by a multidisciplinary team made up of doctors, nurses, carers and other specialists.

Specialist palliative care professionals have the training and experience to provide high-quality palliative care that is focused on the individual and their needs, rather than the prognosis. Specialist professionals involved in palliative care may include palliative care doctors, nurse specialists, counsellors, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dieticians and social workers.

Are palliative care and end of life care the same?

Palliative care and end-of-life care are similar, but they aren’t the same.

The main difference between palliative care and end of life care is that palliative care is available to a person from the moment they are diagnosed with a life-limiting illness through to end of life care.

End of life care, on the other hand, is provided as a person reaches the end of their life. Its purpose is to provide comfort and dignity in the final stages of a person’s life. This kind of care is a type of palliative care that supports a person’s medical and physical needs alongside their psychological and spiritual needs.

What are the benefits of palliative care?

There are many benefits to receiving palliative care. The first is that having a palliative care team on your side can help you to communicate what you want to doctors and focus on treatments that improve your quality of life. As palliative care teams are multidisciplinary, you can draw upon the expertise of many care and health professionals to better understand treatment and support options that match with your goals and wishes.

Palliative care also ensures that you get both the physical and emotional support you need. This support also extends to family members, friends and loved ones who care for you.

Can I receive other treatment alongside palliative care?

Palliative care can be delivered alongside other treatments for the life-limiting illness. For example, an individual with cancer may receive palliative care to help keep them comfortable and ensure their needs are met, as well as receive curative treatment and therapies such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

There is no set time period on when or for how long a person can receive palliative care. If necessary, it can be offered at the point of diagnosis and continue for years as the individual undergoes other treatment. In other cases, a person may only require palliative care in their last weeks or days, depending on the progression of their illness.

How to get palliative care?

To find out more about palliative care or end of life care, we would recommend speaking to your GP or a specialist involved in your current care. They will be able to talk you through all of the options available to you and put you in touch with other specialists and professionals who are able to provide support.

At Lovett Care, we provide palliative care across several of our care homes. This specialist care service is delivered by qualified and experienced professionals who are focused on promoting quality of life and holistic support in collaboration with other medical professionals. To find out more about palliative care from Lovett Care, and explore how we can support you through our residential and respite care services, contact us today.