Denver Home Care Blog

Palliative Care: What Is It and How Does It Provide Comfort Care for Seniors?

Palliative care is a form of comfort care that can improve the well-being of older adults in Wheat Ridge, CO

Palliative care is a type of care whose aim is to relieve the symptoms of a serious health condition by caring for the whole person, not just focusing on their illness.

While many people confuse palliative care with hospice care, these two are not the same. Palliative care is basically comfort care provided to anyone regardless of age, illness or life expectancy.

It is important to note that palliative care was recognized as a medical specialty in 2006, with palliative care experts using medical treatment to treat both patients and family members. However, palliative doctors provide an extra layer of support and do not replace medical specialists. A team treating a patient can include, apart from the palliative doctor, primary doctors, specialists, nurses, social workers, spiritual leaders, and family members.

Respecting Patient Wishes When Providing Comfort Care

When it comes to developing a treatment plan, the wishes of the patient are always of paramount importance. While the medical team focuses on treating the condition or illness, the palliative team improves life quality, reduces discomfort and restores hope through comfort care.

Here's what a palliative team can do for your loved one:

  • Provide guidance throughout the process of making medical decisions
  • Prescribe treatments for pain reduction
  • Coordinate care with all the medical professionals involved
  • Help with preparing living wills and other important documentation
  • Offer comfort and emotional and spiritual support

Palliative Care May Boost Survival Odds

According to the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, palliative care may boost recovery by relieving symptoms such as pain, anxiety, and loss of appetite while medical treatments are used. The World Health Organization says that palliative care is most effective at the beginning of an illness and that it can prevent hospitalization. Finally, the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine suggests that people who receive palliative care along with other treatments live longer.

How an Expert Palliative Caregiver Can Supplement Palliative Care

Renowned home care agencies like Visiting Angels Denver provide programs that supplement palliative care. Our caregivers can provide specialized, non-medical comfort care services, elevating the quality of life for both the care recipient and their family.

With one of our palliative care providers, your loved one can receive compassionate support and comfort they are unlikely to get with busy medical professionals. Plus, having someone around can have a soothing effect on your loved one and make life much easier for the whole family.

Before you get started with palliative care from Visiting Angels, your loved one will be asked a number of questions. Depending on the answers, our experts will craft a unique, personalized plan of care for them. As the illness changes, so will your loved one’s plan, meaning you can add or remove services whenever needed.

Here are some of the questions that our palliative care experts can ask your loved one:

  • What makes you happy?
  • What are your hopes for yourself and your family?
  • What can we do to help you live well?
  • What is important to you?
  • What needs and/or services would you like to talk about?
  • What activities or events are you looking forward to?
  • What are your fears or concerns regarding your illness or care?
  • What activities do you wish to continue?
  • How can we help you live a happier, more comfortable life?

Visiting Angels of Denver is a leading provider of non-medical comfort care and other senior care services. To learn more about the in-home care provided by our staff of compassionate caregivers, please call our Wheat Ridge office at (303) 232-9999 or contact us for more information.

Visiting Angels proudly serves Arvada, Aurora, Denver, Glendale, Golden, Lakewood, Wheat Ridge and the surrounding areas of Colorado.

Each Visiting Angels agency is a franchise that is independently owned and operated. The Franchisor, Living Assistance Services Inc., does not control or manage the day to day business operations of any Visiting Angels franchised agency.