If you are caring for someone who is very frail or living with a chronic condition or life-threatening illness, it can be hard to know if you are doing everything you can. You want to make sure you are dealing with active issues and preventing new ones from occurring and you want to minimize suffering. At the same time, you want to be sure you are supporting the care recipient’s psychological, social, and spiritual needs and promoting opportunities for meaningful and valuable experiences.
You could probably use some help with all of this but what would that be? Does thinking about “palliative care” feel like a betrayal of intent? Isn’t it only for end of life? The answer is no.
A palliative approach to care focuses on the person and their family, their needs and goals of care from time of diagnosis. It has been proven that earlier integration of a palliative approach can lead to better management of symptoms and improved quality of life and care. It doesn’t mean speeding up or delaying death.