Elderly woman with her nurse

Palliative Care in This Age: What Has Changed?

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Often, caregivers in Indiana and other states will table multiple hospice care plans and grief support programs before the family of a terminally ill patient so that they make the best decision for palliative care. However, it is crucial that the involved family members have a better understanding of the following when analyzing the situation at hand:

The Family’s Journey

In every community today, there are a couple of families that have a member with a terminal disease. It is for such that caregivers take the family on a journey to help them deal with the emotional, financial and psychological stress that they experience. This process is out of step with times past when practitioners only consoled the family when medical procedures could no longer work.

The Patient’s Journey

Elderly woman lying on bed with her nurse

On the other hand, any person diagnosed with a terminal illness will experience pain in their bodies that painkillers cannot easily alleviate. That means that medics must put in place measures to help refocus the patient away from the pain he or she is experiencing. They also should assess the patient’s psychological and spiritual status so that palliative caregivers and other players can come in to lend their help.

The Last Days

Life is only over for the patient once breathing ceases completely. Therefore, in the last months, weeks and days, the patient should be full of zest, peace, and joy. However, for cases that are too severe, allowing the patient to live longer may be severely detrimental and a burden to the affected family. In such instances, the medical practitioner plays a delicate balance between keeping the patient alive for the family’s sake relationally and alleviating the pain of the patient by inducing death by withholding therapeutic measures.

The Physical Challenges of Dying Patients

Pain management would be imperative for chronically ill patients dealing with diverse challenges such as dyspnea characterized by breathlessness. The medic could administrate opioids and benzodiazepines in a bid to manage the problem. Another problem includes restlessness characterized by cognitive failure, agitation, and anxiety. Moreover, there are cases of death rattle could where patients have no control of pharyngeal secretions.

After Death, What Next?

Palliative caregivers should thoroughly prepare the patient’s family for death by assessing and addressing their spiritual and psychological status. This practice goes in helping them to adjust and move on when the tragedy of loss occurs. Therapy sessions may be necessary, too. Here, caregivers hold discussions with all family members so that they all are on the same page, emotionally. Palliative caregivers, be it in Indiana or any other state, also help in ensuring the family remains closely knit as a unit through it all.

In this day and age, grief support programs and palliative care are of great necessity as they help patients with chronic problems have a comfortable transition to death while also helping family members through the different stages of that journey. It, however, is vital that patients let go any issues from their soul such as un-forgiveness and anger while caregivers work to help family members care for their loved one. Care for the dying, therefore, becomes the precedence for a peaceful transition into the afterlife.

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