Care Options for Terminal Illnesses: A Closer Lookby Micheal M. I'm a professional Writer
A terminal illness is one that has no cure and is likely to result in the affected individual’s death. It’s mostly associated with diseases that aren’t responsive to treatment or are at an advanced stage, such as stage-four cancer or advanced heart disease.
Know someone struggling with a terminal illness? Here are a few care options to consider for them.
Hospice is a form of end-of-life care service that provides symptom relief to the patient. It’s recommended when the primary healthcare providers believe that the patient may have approximately six months or less to live, and is thus intended for individuals who have incurable conditions.
Hospice care can be arranged in various settings. It may be provided at the patient’s own home, at an assisted living facility or nursing home, or at the hospital. It includes a team of healthcare workers, volunteers, and often spiritual advisors as well who provide the patient with support and care. The main idea behind hospice is to optimize the patient’s comfort and assist them with any symptom management or decision making needs.
Similar to hospice, palliative care can also be arranged in various settings as per the patient’s preference or convenience. It’s also meant to help patients with their symptom management and decision making needs, and involves a multidisciplinary team of health workers and advisors who work closely with the patient and their family.
The difference between hospice and palliative care is that while hospice is brought about once a person receives a six-month diagnosis, palliative care can be started earlier on. In fact, it may be sought since the time they receive their first diagnosis.
Patients who undergo palliative care often live for much longer than 6 months. The goal of this form of care is to ease the patient’s symptoms and provide them with the best possible care. If at some point their treatment stops being effective, then palliative care is still continued to make the remaining time easier on the patient.
Depending on the patient’s condition and the probability of a treatment option succeeding, healthcare providers may ultimately advise that the best course of action for the patient would be to spend their remaining days with their loved ones instead of opting for alternate treatments.
Of course, this isn’t an easy decision for the patient and their family members to make either. This is why many times, terminal patients wish to seek extensive treatment, even if the said treatment has been barely effective so far, often in hopes of a miracle. They may also sign up for clinical trials or experimental treatments that offer a glimmer of hope. Research has shown that in several cases of continued treatment, the patients don’t fully understand their prognosis or the chances of survival, which tends to prompt them to pursue further treatment.
Continued treatment is only allowed up to a certain extent. After a point, there isn’t much that healthcare providers can offer except their heartfelt prayers and support to the family. Patients who undergo continued treatment typically do so to “not give up” and “fight the disease” to the best of their abilities. Whatever the results may be—and they can be fruitful—at the very least, continued treatment gives patients peace of mind.
While watching your loved one suffer from a terminal illness is heart-wrenching, choosing the appropriate form of care can ease their troubles a bit. You may also want to consider getting a viatical settlement at this point, which may be used to pay for the medical costs of treatment and care.
Created on May 6th 2020 02:17. Viewed 259 times.