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Best Practices for Palliative Care

by Vanessa Valerio, July 22, 2019

When faced with a chronic condition or the care of a loved one with a debilitating disease, the first step is to find the care you need. This care may include in-home caregivers or a team of support personnel, known as palliative care.

This type of care – similar to Hospice care – focuses on best practices to ensure that patients can live life to the fullest, improve their quality of life and increase comfort.

Care Indeed, as a leading home care provider, offers trained staff to help you – or a loved one – navigate and cope with any type of disorder or condition. We are also committed to educating the community, our caregivers and our clients. That’s why we’ve launched an additional series on Palliative Care.

Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of Palliative Care and the process that has evolved to create best practices for all involved.

 

How Did Palliative Care Evolve?

Palliative Care is not a new concept. In fact, in many instances, physicians, caregivers, specialists and family members have come together to create plans to improve quality of life for patients for years. However, as studies began to show the benefits of palliative care, a desire to create best practices was born.

Just in 2017, The American College of Surgeons Trauma Quality Improvement Program (ACS TQIP)formed a team to create the Palliative Care Best Practices Guidelines. These guidelines are designed to offer recommendations for palliative care teams, as well as providers of trauma care.

Best practices commonly include recommendations on how the care should be provided by all parties involved, that may include, but not limited to:

  • Physicians
  • Specialists
  • Caregivers
  • Nursing Home or Hospital Staff
  • Rehabilitative Center Staff
  • Family Members
  • Close Friends of the Patient

 

Diving Into Best Practices for Palliative Care

The benefits of Palliative Care go undisputed. In fact, the National Cancer Institute found that patients opting for palliative care were reported to have better moods and quality of life while coping with debilitating diseases, such as cancer. The study also found that patients nearing the end of life were more willing to discuss their preferences with health care teams and coped with the reality of the disease.

But, with all good things, comes a need to safely offer recommendations. The American College of Surgeons Trauma Quality Improvement Program (ACS TQIP) recommends the following goals for the palliative care team:

 

  • Teamwork across many fields is an essential component of effective,patient-centered palliative care.
  • Investment of leadership and key stakeholders is needed for the program to be successful.
  • Ongoing education for all staff in palliative care communication skill sis important to enabling them to provide high-quality palliative care.
  • Shared decision-making between patients and providers and within provider teams is essential

In addition, the ACS TQIP asserts that the essential components of any type of palliative care should include:

  • Effective communication and support around prognosis,treatment options, and shared decision-making is the cornerstone of palliative care.
  • Psycho social, emotional, and spiritual care should be routinely provided over the course of hospitalization;including pastoral care, social work,and others are important for this care.
  • Early and continuous assessment and treatment of pain, discomfort,and anxiety are paramount to providing high-quality care.
  • The unit of care is the
  • patient and family.

 

Finding the Support and Care You Need

A physical illness or disease can affect individuals at any stage of life and age. In some cases, the symptoms may be mild, but many disorders can also be life threatening.

This is why support and care is essential at the onset of any type of discomfort. And, a team effort ensures that you – or a loved one – will navigate chronic conditions in comfort.

It’s important to learn as much about the symptoms and care needed to help support your loved ones. Tap into resources from local and national organizations to boost your knowledge of how the disorder affects everyone involved and to also identify coping skills. In addition, lean on caregivers, such as the qualified staff from Care Indeed, to help with daily living, while coordinating palliative care.

Life with any type of illnesses challenging and learning how to accept the challenge is the first step in living life. While you may struggle with grief and loss when coping with the symptoms as a patient, caregiver or family member, the support you need is only a click away.

Care Indeed is committed to providing you the support and in-home caregivers who understand your challenges and daily struggles at work and home. Learn more about how to get the support you need while living with Dementia today