Every year, about 40 million people need palliative care, but many don’t receive it. While some of this is due to accessibility issues, it’s also the result of people not understanding what palliative care actually is.
So, what is palliative care? It’s a type of care that prioritizes the comfort and independence of people who are struggling with life-threatening illnesses.
We’re here to talk about the five stages of palliative care and who should consider it. Hopefully this guide will be helpful for you, or your senior loved one in the Minneapolis area.
Who is Palliative Care For?
Palliative care is, for the most part, for people who are struggling with a debilitating illness. When it comes to hospice vs palliative care, the primary difference is that people in hospice are always nearing their end of life. People in palliative care may still recover.
Our palliative care focuses on improving the patient’s quality of life in the Minneapolis area. The patient will receive life-extending treatment (if desired), and doctors may look for cures, but the patient will also have autonomy. They can decide what they do and do not want to do regarding treatment.
What Are the Five stages of Palliative Care?
Palliative care comes in five stages. These stages will vary depending on the patient’s condition. They may not end up going through all of these stages if they recover.
Here’s a brief overview of each stage.
First, Minneapolis area doctors and patients will create a palliative care plan. To make this plan, the doctor will assess the patient’s current condition, the overall progression of their illness, their own desires regarding treatment, and their current medications or treatments.
The patient will be advised to take care of any end-of-life plans and paperwork, even if they may recover.
Emotional preparation (for both the patient and their loved ones) is a crucial part of palliative care that many professionals overlook. While palliative care isn’t always for people who are certainly at the end of their lives, it’s still a possibility that needs to be considered.
Patients and loved ones may receive counseling services to help them work through the complicated emotions regarding this new stage of care.
In the early care stage, doctors want patients to stay as comfortable and independent as possible. Some patients even choose to stay in their own Minneapolis area homes during this stage.
Patients may seek out minor home modifications during this stage to make their lives easier. These may include handrails, walk-in tubs, or hospital-style beds.
During late-stage care, patients need more support from medical professionals and caregivers. For many people, this is when they decide whether or not they’re going to go into hospice.
Patients can choose to stay at home with qualified caregivers, or they can move into a senior care facility where they can be more comfortable. They’ll have around-the-clock support.
If the person in palliative care passes away, the last stage will be bereavement support for their friends and family members. Counselors will work with the loved ones for up to a year to make sure that they’re coping with this serious loss.
Palliative Care in Minneapolis Isn’t Scary
The five stages of palliative care aren’t only for terminal patients, but even when a patient is terminal, palliative care is nothing to be afraid of. Palliative care keeps patients comfortable and independent so they can enjoy their lives in and around Minneapolis despite their condition.
If you or a loved one is in need of palliative care, we want to help. Learn more about our palliative care services and contact us today.