End of Life Care Vs. Palliative Care in Parkersburg, WV
Learn what differentiates end of life care from palliative care for your Parkersburg senior loved one.
Palliative care is often called comfort care. It is a specialized set of supports and services designed to bring comfort and quality of life to individuals with severe medical disorders. The disorders do not need to be terminal and palliative care can be started at any time. The supports may include social workers, massage therapists, clergy, doctors, nurses, and non-medical care personnel.
Comparatively, end of life care is designed to maximize dignity and quality of life once a situation becomes terminal. By design, the care is limited to an expected final six months of life. While palliative care can be combined with any treatment options, including those designed to cure a condition or restore health, hospice starts once these treatments have ceased.
A point of confusion is the inclusion of palliative care as an end of life care service. More specifically, palliative care is an essential component of all hospice programs. After all, the purpose of end of life care is a senior's comfort, pain management, and quality of life – the very definition of palliative care.
Granted, hospice support involves other aspects of care that would not be included in palliative care services. For example, end of life care includes counseling for the senior and their family on obtaining closure, standards of care for the dying, and aggressive pain management techniques that may involve complete sedation.
When it comes to non-medical supports, there is a great deal of overlap between end of life care and palliative care. The key components of all such care are dignity, privacy, and self-esteem, and the physical tasks are often quite similar, including housekeeping, laundry, meal preparation, running errands, and personal care. The form and frequency of personal care are often changed during end of life care, however, as more help is usually required with bathing, eating, toileting, and the like the closer it gets to the end.
In short, palliative care is designed to provide comfort and an increased quality of life to an individual who is suffering. Should the prognosis turn terminal, the palliative care can still continue, but additional helps and supports reserved for the final months of a person's life will also be included as part of end of life care.