Palliative Care improves the quality of life of patients and their families by relieving the pain, symptoms and stress of a serious or debilitating illness. Designed to help patients feel better, palliative care in Maryland can help to relieve symptoms such as loss of appetite, pain, nausea and sleeplessness, as well as provide help with health care decision making, managing health care and supporting family members. Here are a few medical conditions that would benefit from palliative care.
It can be a challenge to ensure good quality of life at the end of life and a peaceful death. The knowledge that you are dying often provokes intense anxiety and fear, for yourself and your loved ones. Talking through this anxiety and fear with your loved ones, friends, and a minister or other spiritual guide can help. Palliative care can help create a situation that maintains quality of life and leads to a peaceful death. Palliative care: Focuses on both emotional and physical needs, makes relief of pain and suffering a top priority, provides active support to loved ones and caregivers, and provides information about how to take care of someone at home
Many with dementia stop recognizing signs of hunger and thirst, and sadly, lose the ability to feed themselves and the ability to eat. Families and caregivers often must face tough decisions when a person can no longer eat. One decision is to decide whether to use artificial feeding. Unfortunately, medical research shows that this feeding method does not actually work to prolong life. Feeding through a tube to the stomach or through a vein may even cause more lung infections and pneumonia. Your palliative care team will see to it that a patient gets care in a skilled nursing facility if home care is no longer possible. Palliative care specialists will also help patients and families deal with the complex health care system. The goal is always quality of life.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Your team of palliative care specialists will be able to assist you with many things. They will serve as your sounding board and help you to stave off symptoms like discomfort, depression, anxiety and pain. Research has shown that when people with ALS are under palliative care, they may have a higher survival rate than those patients who are only receiving general neurological care. At any stage of the disease, palliative care can help you and your family to experience the best quality of life possible.