Understanding palliative care
ON THE SECOND SATURDAY in October, countries around the world celebrate World Hospice And Palliative Care Day.
The concept of modern palliative care is somewhat new to Barbados. So as we approach the third celebration of this day on the island, we take this opportunity to share again some information on palliative care as a means of raising awareness for this valuable form of care that is needed by many of our families.
I trust that by the end of this article, you will have a clear understanding of what palliative care is and the kinds of services that are available in Barbados. 1. What is palliative care? It is a holistic form of care which focuses on improving the quality of life of patients and their families who face the challenges associated with lifethreatening illnesses.
Palliative care is not limited to persons with a diagnosis of cancer, but is also of benefit to persons with non-cancer illnesses, such as heart disease, kidney failure and even HIV/AIDS. It places priority on helping patients to achieve the best possible quality of life. It does so using a team approach where healthcare providers from varied disciplines work together with family members and friends to achieve the best possible outcome for the patients and their loved ones.
Palliative care is about living, and doing so with dignity surrounded by love, even during the most difficult periods of our lives; including during bereavement.