Palliative care is the active total care of patients whose disease is not responsive to curative treatment. It involves the prevention and relief of distressing symptoms by means of early identification and assessment, treatment of pain and other symptoms, and emotional and spiritual support.
Palliative care is about achieving the best quality of life for people and their families, with advanced, life-threatening diseases such as cancer, heart or lung disease, kidney failure and other conditions like motor neurone disease and multiple sclerosis. It can be provided for patients of any age group, from any stage of diagnosis covering a wide range of conditions and in any care setting. Patients with more complex needs require specialist palliative care delivered by a specialist multidisciplinary team.
There are many people involved in providing palliative care services and teamwork is important when addressing your needs. It is important to work along with you and your family to ensure that your needs are met. It is not always easy to ask for help as people often feel they should try to cope alone. It is important, however, that you and your family/carers have as much support as possible as coping alone can be difficult.
Go to www.northerntrust.hscni.net for information about hospital and community palliative care services as well as additional support provided by the community and voluntary sector.
For more information on Understanding Palliative Care click on https://youtu.be/K5UI0wJ5k34.