Despite popular belief that palliative care specialists only help those who are near death, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine discovered that palliative care specialists helped patients diagnosed with deadly cancers live beyond traditional expectations.
Patients who did not receive palliative care – or pain relief – during their treatments lived an average of 8.9 months, according to the study. Those who were treated by such specialists, on the other hand, lived for an average of nearly a year.
Palliative care is delivered by a team of doctors, nurses, and other specialists who collaborate with the patient’s other doctors to provide an additional layer of support. Massage therapists, pharmacists, nutritionists, chaplains, and other professionals may be included on the team. It is appropriate at any age and stage of a serious illness and can be given in conjunction with curative treatment.
Caring Connections is a great place to start for advice on how to help those you care about with advance care planning, community resources such as Meals on Wheels, and respite care. It is all about living your extended life with quality and helpful assistance.
An extended lifespan could give those unfortunate enough to be diagnosed with terminal cancer time to organize their affairs, allowing them to distribute money from wills and life insurance policies to their survivors as well. A plan can help ensure your loved ones and, of course, your own peace of mind.