Palliative care is appropriate for patients who have serious, long-lasting or life-threatening illnesses such as AIDS, cancer, chronic lung disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, heart disease, Alzheimer's and multiple sclerosis, claims WebMD. The patient's family members who need emotional, spiritual and material support are also eligible for palliative care.
Palliative care aims at alleviating pain and other troubling symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, coughing, labored breathing and depression, states WebMD. It also enables a patient to complete his medical treatments for the disease.
A patient can start palliative care at any stage of the illness, preferably at the earliest stage. The patient should not wait until the disease reaches an advanced stage, as advised by WebMD. The patient should consult a doctor about the right time for palliative care.