Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses. It focuses on providing patients with relief from the pain and stress of a serious illness. The goal is always to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family. Palliative care is provided by the team of doctors, nurses and other specialists who work together with a patients other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness and can be provided along with treatment. Palliative medicine physicians care for patients with life-limiting illnesses, making their lives more comfortable even though their condition is deteriorating. Symptom control is a large part of their work, but they also deal with social and psychological difficulties and get involved in family needs. Consultants in palliative medicine work within multi professional teams and services. Palliative care treats people suffering from serious and chronic illnesses such as cancer, cardiac disease such as congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, kidney failure, Parkinsons , Alzheimers, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and many more. Palliative care focuses on symptoms such as pain, fatigue, shortness of breath, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite, difficulty in sleeping and depression. It also helps in gaining the strength to carry on with daily life. It improves your ability to tolerate medical treatments. And it helps to have more control over care by improving understanding of choices for treatment.Palliative care is a team approach. The core team includes doctor, nurse and social work palliative care specialists. Massage therapists, pharmacists, nutritionists, and others may also be part of the team.
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Last date updated on September, 2014