Palliative Care: Feeling Better, Living Better

Posted on

Oct 08, 2020

Trying to manage a life-limiting illness can be challenging, both for individuals and those who care about them. Symptoms from treatment, medication or the condition itself can make it difficult to take part in everyday life, or even get out of bed in the morning.
Palliative care is a medical specialty providing whole-person support to people with life-limiting illness. The overall goal is helping individuals feel better, so they can live better. Care can be provided at various locations, including a patients home, and can benefit people of any age with conditions such as: cancer, COPD, diabetes, heart disease, ALS and Alzheimers at any stage of an illness.
Palliative practitioners work with a persons existing doctors, providing an added layer of care. They may see patients between specialist appointments, insuring continuity of support. Providers educate individuals (and family) about the patients condition and treatment options. They talk with people about their wishes, priorities and goals for care and help them plan for the time ahead.
Palliative providers are expert at knowing how to alleviate symptoms so patients can feel more comfortable. Symptoms helped through palliative medicine include: pain, nausea, fatigue, shortness of breath, anxiety, depression, constipation and others that reduce a persons quality of living. The palliative practitioner provides care with a patients whole picture in mind, typically resulting in fewer out-of-home appointments, ER visits and hospitalizations.
When is the right time for palliative care? For someone with an ongoing or serious illness, the answer is: today. Studies have shown that those receiving early palliative care not only have improved quality of life, but less depression and in some cases, longer overall life expectancy.
Palliative care is typically covered by private insurance, Medicare and Medicaid. To access care, patients can talk to a physician, or get in touch with a palliative care provider in their area.

Editors Note: This article was submitted by Autumn Rowland, FNP-C, Director of Agape Palliative Care. She may be reached at 720-482-1988 or by email at:

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