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Helping Senior Family Members Understand Palliative Care

Oct 7, 2016 by Comfort Keepers of Walnut Creek

When a senior loved one has to start palliative care it can be a difficult time for any individual, and for their family members. Typically, when a family hears that their loved one must start palliative care, it can be a difficult issue to comprehend. This is why it is so important that seniors and their family members understand what palliative care is and what it means.

The first and most important thing to understand is that while the terms are often used interchangeably, palliative care is not the same thing as hospice care. This is why it is important for everyone involved with the senior’s care to immediately understand what palliative care is and what it means.

Just because a senior starts this type of care, it does not mean that they are necessarily going to pass away any time soon. Typically, this term is used to describe a situation where the individual may no longer be using traditional options to “heal” their ailments, but instead are focusing mostly on comfort care and keeping the senior as comfortable as possible. One of the other main differences is that there are no time restrictions with palliative care. An individual can start receiving palliative care at any time during the stage of their illness.

A person with a terminal illness can receive this type of care, and a person with a chronic illness can both receive this type of care. Palliative-centered care can also vary from person to person, it is not the same in very situation. With this in mind, it is important that the entire family is proactive in asking questions and getting more information about their loved one’s care. The more information that everyone involved has about their palliative care plans and what to expect, the better off the entire family will be during this difficult time.

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