For About and By Caregivers

Subscribe to our bi-monthly publication Today's Caregiver magazine
  + Larger Font | - Smaller Font

Medication Management

Share This Article

Palliative Care Offers Relief to Both
Caregiver and Loved One

By Jude Roberts, Staff Writer

(Page 2 of 2)

Some people may need a more complex form of care from the beginning. This would include people: with a past history of psychiatric problems or substance abuse problems; who had difficulty coping during earlier cancer treatment; with no social support, or no one to turn to for emotional support; who have young children in the family; who have suffered from multiple losses; with financial problems; who have problems thinking clearly; who have other serious, medical problems; who have communication problems (difference in language, or are hard-of-hearing); who have family problems; or who have repeatedly requested physician-assisted suicide. Whatever the situation, the palliative care team will work with the appropriate mental healthcare professionals, medical professionals, social services, or interpreters to make sure that their needs are met.

During the final days and hours, the doctor and palliative care team will: watch the patient closely; provide privacy; stop all diagnostic testing; avoid needle sticks; remove IVs, catheters, and implanted devices; allow loved ones and their family uninterrupted time together; ensure that the family understands the death process and what to expect; encourage visits by children if itís okay with loved one; make sure the family is available around-the-clock; make sure that caregivers understand the advance directives of their loved one and that these directives will be honored; and consider sedation for relief of uncontrolled symptoms. After a loved one has died, the palliative care continues, making sure that the body is treated in a culturally sensitive and respectful way, that the family has time with the body, that funeral arrangements are made and finalized, and that all healthcare professionals and insurance companies are notified. For the family, the palliative care team will help provide support with their grief by identifying available help or community grief/bereavement groups, and will make sure that family members are receiving the help needed in order to cope with the death.

Itís important for caregivers and their loved ones to know that such a program exists, that it can help them through every difficult stage; not only helping the one with the life-threatening illness, but also helping the caregiver. Palliative care can ease the confusion that may come from an overload of too much information and too many choices by concentrating on the entire person - their body, mind, and spirit - and the personal well-being of the family caregiving team as well.


  1 2

Printable Version Printable Version



Related Articles

It's About Life

People with End-Stage Alzheimerís Need More Palliative Care

Hospice Care


Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Youtube Follow us on Pinterest Google Plus