How Palliative Care Helps Seniors in the Central Coast Region of California
Palliative care from Visiting Angels Central Coast helps alleviate discomfort for elderly adults in Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley and Marina, CA
The origins of palliative care are related to concerns of cancer patients and go back to the 60s and 70s. This practice gained momentum in recent decades as life expectancy margins rose significantly and nowadays most people live well past 65 years of age.
According to the World Health Organization, this type of specialized care is defined as “an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual.”
In recent years, this definition has been broadened and now may include care for any patient, regardless of age, the stage of their condition, or even whether the condition is life-threatening.
In 2006, the American Board of Medical Specialties recognized palliative services as a medical specialty that provides additional support to patients and members of the family during medical treatment. However, it is important to note that palliative doctors do not replace medical specialists, they ’re just there to provide an additional layer of assistance and support.
Patient Comfort & Well-Being is Central to Care
The wishes of a patient are at the center of any palliative treatment plan. Of course, in consultation with medical specialists, that is. While the medical team’s job is to focus on treating your loved one’s disease or condition, the palliative team concentrates on improving their quality of life by any means possible to help alleviate suffering and help cope with the situation. Palliative team members will:
- Provide medical advice and guidance
- Prescribe treatments to minimize discomfort and pain
- Help coordinate care with other medical professionals
- Assist with drafting last wills and other important documents
- Provide emotional support and spiritual guidance when needed
Palliative Care Can Increase Survival Odds
The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine indicates that, according to research, people often live longer when receiving palliative treatment. It also helps reduce unnecessary hospitalizations and the use of health care services.
How a Professional Caregiver Helps Supplement Palliative Care
Leading home care agencies like Visiting Angels Central Coast often offer care plans specially designed to supplement palliative care. The purpose of a professional in-home caregiver is to alleviate discomfort and help improve the quality of life for individuals placed in their care through specialized, non-medical care and assistance.
The role of a professional caregiver is much different than the role of your loved one’s medical team. While Mom or Dad may be receiving expert medical care, it is equally important they maintain a level of comfort and some of the routines they used to enjoy before their illness or surgery.
Caregivers pay special attention to providing meaningful companionship and warmth to seniors they cater for, which is not something that every medical professional does. This compassionate approach can make life easier for your loved one and the whole family as well.
If you’d like to learn about how we can improve your loved one’s quality of life, contact our Scotts Valley, CA office.