Palliative care helps manage symptoms and provides emotional and spiritual support during a chronic, serious or terminal illness, according to Mayo Clinic. The purpose of palliative care is not to cure disease, but to improve comfort and life’s quality.
The primary doctor works with various other professionals to develop a care plan for the individual receiving palliative care. Team professionals include a psychologist, spiritual counselor, nurses and rehabilitation therapists. All of these individuals work together, exchanging valuable information to provide the patient with the most effective treatment. While palliative care is available during all stages of serious illness, hospice care is reserved for the end of life, as stated by Mayo Clinic.
Hospice care refers to palliative care implemented for alleviating the debilitating symptoms of terminal illness. It also provides support to families when life is expected to end in several months’ time, according to WebMD. Palliative care can be received alongside curative therapies. It helps to control symptoms experienced as a result of harsh treatment, such as chemotherapy. Pain management is a principle focus of palliative care; however, it also helps reduce other symptoms, such as shortness of breath, fatigue, insomnia, anxiety and depression, as stated by MedilinePlus Palliative care is available for people of all ages, including children.