Un­der­stand­ing pal­lia­tive care

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - Health -

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.

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