What Is Palliative Care

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines Palliative Care as

An approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families who are facing problems associated with life-threatening illness. It prevents and relieves suffering through early identification, correct assessment, and treatment of pain and other problems, whether physical, psychosocial, or spiritual.

Addressing suffering involves taking care of issues beyond physical symptoms. Palliative care uses a team approach to support patients and their caregivers. This includes addressing practical needs and providing bereavement counselling. It offers a support system to help patients live as actively as possible until death.

Who needs palliative care?

People of any age who are terminally ill and approaching the end of their life, or who have been diagnosed with a serious and life-limiting illness that has little or no prospect of cure, such as:

  • Cancer
  • Kidney Failure
  • Heart Failure
  • Advanced Lung Disease
  • Motor Neuron Disease
  • Advanced Parkinson’s Disease
  • Advanced Dementia
  • Extensive Stroke
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • AIDS

6 core elements in Palliative Care

Support patients and their families

Alleviate pain and other sufferings

Bring and sustain hope

Provide comfort and dignity, patient-centred care

To end life well

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