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What Is Palliative Care?

By Mary-Frances Walsh, 8:00 am on

While curative care focuses on restoring patients to good health, palliative care programs seek to improve the quality of life for older adults with chronic diseases and for those who are terminally ill. The goal of palliative care in Sonoma County is not only to alleviate pain, manage symptoms and improve comfort but to help patients and family member cope with the challenges they face every day.
What Does Palliative Care Include?

In addition to treating chronic physical problems, palliative care addresses the social, emotional and spiritual issues that arise when a loved one has a serious illness. Treatments can include counseling, support groups and therapy for family members as well as for the patient. Information about practical problems like finances, insurance and livings wills is often offered as well.

Palliative Care vs. Hospice Care

Although both hospice care and palliative care can enhance a loved one’s quality of life, there are significant differences between the two. Hospice care is usually administered during the last few months of life, often as a replacement for curative care. Palliative care can be given at the same time as traditional care, and it can continue for many years. Palliative care also provides services to family members and caregivers as well as to the patient.

Who Delivers Palliative Care?

Traditional health care teams often include professionals who specialize in different aspects of palliative care, such as nutrition, mental health and massage therapy. Palliative care is offered by some Sonoma County home care agencies such as Home Care Assistance, hospitals and long-term care facilities.

In-home care includes a broad array of palliative services, including encouraging good nutrition, providing companionship and offering emotional support. Ensuring that caregivers have the time off they need to regroup and recharge is another important aspect of palliative care. No single person can provide care around the clock, and hourly in-home Sonoma County caregiver may be required to ensure total care.

If you believe your loved one and your family would benefit from palliative care, reach out to Home Care Assistance Sonoma County today. We know the many challenges that older adults and their families face, both physically and emotionally, and have a compassionate team to provide support and encouragement 24/7. Call us at 707-843-4368 and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation today.