To most people, the word “palliative” feels foreign and they’re not quite sure what it means. Palliative care is a specialized type of care that addresses a patient’s need for comfort measures while seeking curative treatment for serious disease and illness. As an example, a cancer patient who is undergoing chemotherapy may elect to add palliative care to their care regimen to help ease the discomfort and side effects of chemo.

The benefits of Palliative care are many. First and foremost, palliative care puts the patient’s desires, goals and choices first. The care plan is formed around the patient’s wishes because quality of life is of the utmost importance in palliative care.

One goal of palliative care is the support of the patient and their family members. Having a loved one with a serious illness puts a strain not only on the patient, but those they love as well. Palliative care practitioners are trained to work with the patient and their family as a team and to help bring calm to a very trying time by ensuring patients and their family members understand treatment plans and options as well as talking through feelings and concerns with all involved – this reduces worry and fear and improves quality of life for the total family unit.

Palliative care helps primarily with pain and symptom control, which allows for a more rested, less-stressed patient – two vital components when someone is working to heal from a serious illness. Palliative care focuses on body, mind and spirt which offers a total body solution to reduce pain and increase quality life experiences. In addition, palliative care is known to reduce unnecessary hospital visits.

To learn more about palliative care and how it might benefit you or a loved one, contact Palliative Care of Lake Cumberland at 606-679-4389.