Providing the Care that Brings Relief

There are physical, emotional, practical life and spiritual needs that arise from serious illness. The type of palliative care needed will vary from person to person.

Comprehensive palliative care takes the following into account:

Physical—Pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, shortness of breath and insomnia are just some of the symptoms that accompany serious illness. In addition to medication, methods such as nutrition therapy, physical therapy and deep breathing techniques may help bring relief.

Emotional—Palliative care specialists can help families deal with the emotional issues that come with a serious illness through counseling, support groups, family meetings or referrals to mental health professionals.

Practical—Patients and their families may have financial, employment and legal concerns. Palliative care specialists can help by directing patients and families to financial and legal resources and also make them aware of local and national resources for assistance.

Spiritual—With illness there is often a search for faith. A palliative care specialist, such as a Chaplain, can help with exploration of beliefs and values.

Source: National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health