Palliative care is the relief of suffering - physical and emotional - associated with a life limiting illness. It improves quality of life and in some cases can extend life. It can be a treatment all on its own, or it can be combined with "typical" medical care. It is NOT just for those with a cancer diagnosis.
Early palliative care is helpful for many conditions to extend life and improve quality of life.
Some people would like to learn more about what other options are available for them or their loved ones.
According to the Alzheimer Society "Planning for end-of-life care should begin as soon as possible after a diagnosis of dementia." This is very important, especially to discuss the patient's wishes regarding future care, as there will come a time when caregivers must make all medical decisions for the person with dementia.
Many people don't realize that heart failure is a life limiting condition that can lead to serious symptoms of shortness of breath or chest pain even while doing nothing. Advanced heart failure does NOT respond to normal treatments. When the pump (your heart) is unable to perform its job anymore, it leads to difficulty breathing and being weak. Its important to plan ahead if you have heart failure.
"In general, people living with COPD deteriorate physically over time. A decrease in energy and strength is common with progressive diseases. Typically people also experience decreasing capacity for activity, increasing shortness of breath, weight loss, and decreasing blood oxygen levels." - Virtual Hospice
Cancer care has most commonly been associated with palliative care. Palliative treatment in cancer care simply means that we are no longer trying to "cure" the disease, but to "control" it so that a person can have more time or more quality of life as they see fit.
Who will speak for you if you can't? Will they make the same decisions that you would want?
The best way to make sure this will happen is to write out an advanced care plan.
A power of attorney for medical care is also very important. You can download these free Ontario forms at https://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/family/pgt/incapacity/poa.php
Government resources on the assisted dying legislation and your legal right to be assessed should you wish can be accessed at the link below.
Dr. Holowaty believes in a person's right to this information as part of a full palliative care approach. If you have questions, please ask.
is found in palliative care as well. We know that our emotions have a profound effect on suffering.