Facing the certain death of a loved one due to a terminal illness is a frightening prospect, but one that can be eased with the help of hospice for palliative or terminal care. With the rise in various cancers in both adults and children, the need for quality hospice care is increasing.
If a loved one is in need of palliative care, it can help a great deal to have a basic understanding of the purpose of hospice before the first meeting with the hospice caregivers.
What is Palliative Care?
Palliative care can best be described as the care that preserves the comfort and quality of life for a terminally ill patient, and their family.
The focuses of palliative care are:
- Symptom control: Making sure that the patient is not suffering unduly.
- Communication: Allowing the patient and their families to communicate freely and openly during the last crucial days.
- Holistic care: Taking care of the whole person, body, mind and spirit.
- Family care: Helping the family through what is sure to be an incredibly difficult time.
Types of Therapies
Hospice provides many different types of therapies for their patients and their families. The goal of these therapies is to treat each person on an individual basis, and therefore treating the whole person, not just the physical ailments.
Animal therapy provides therapy dogs or cats that are brought in to visit with the patients and their families. Music is a powerful tool, it evokes strong emotion and can soothe, energize and comfort. Art therapy is used quite often with children as a way to express their fears and concerns. Medication, healing touch and massage therapies are all used in various ways to treat the whole being.