An Overview of Palliative Care

Palliative care covers both patients who have fatal conditions and those in the midst of healing. Most patients diagnosed with terminal diseases are overwhelmed by stress about their states. In many cases, the patient’s illness is curable and they return to the world after a few months or years in the hospital. However, many patients are diagnosed from birth or at a very young age and spend their childhoods in rooms. Isolated from the rest of the world, they may have never learned how to read or write, and often don’t have the chance to make friends. Palliative care helps ease the grief and stress of these patients, and also provides company to those who are in the process of healing.

Many are confused about the differences between palliative care and hospice care since both include comforting patients with severe illnesses. The main difference is that hospice care is for people whose treatments have already terminated, aiming to provide comfort and care to the patient, for a peaceful and respectful passing. On the other hand, palliative care can start from diagnosis and be done along with treatments. Palliative care is also open to a much wider population: according to the US. Department of Health & Human Services, “palliative care is a resource for anyone living with a serious illness, such as heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cancer, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and many others.”

Many aspects should be considered when implementing palliative care. First, the environment should be patient-friendly. For example, if the patient is a toddler, the tables and chairs should have round or padded edges, so they don’t get hurt. Additionally,  if the patient is confined to a wheelchair, there should be elevators and wheelchair slides in the entrances. Second, the staff and volunteers should record data on patients’ activities and results from their therapeutic interventions. Doctors must see the results of certain activities so that they can make necessary adjustments to the activities,  for better recovery. 

However, for Palliative Care Centers, such as Angel’s Wings, to operate more effectively, they need mass support. While volunteering at palliative centers is valuable,  spreading information can result in greater support, by encouraging compassion and donations.  Even a small donation may change a  patient’s life forever.