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Palliative Care and Social, Emotional, and Psychological Health

Dee Bustos

Care Indeed Events

Jan 10, 2020

7 min read

Over time, the stress of caring for someone with a chronic condition or even dealing with a disease firsthand as a patient takes its toll. Many individuals feel lost or even a burden for their family members and caregiving team. Palliative Care was created to address not just medical care for physical symptoms, but also social, emotional and psychological issues associated with the symptoms and pain.

Care Indeed, as a leading home care provider, offers trained staff to help you – or a loved one – navigate and cope with any type of disorder or condition. We are also committed to educating the community, our caregivers and our clients. That’s why we’ve launched an additional series on Palliative Care

Keep reading to learn more about how palliative care focuses on the human side of an illness and creates a support team for the patient, caregivers, physicians and family members.


Recognizing the Toll of an Illness

While the focus is primarily on how to treat symptoms, cure conditions and lead a patient to better health, the reality is that with many long-term illnesses, patients need much more. They need for a support team to take into account their psycho social, spiritual, religious and cultural considerations when managing care.

That’s why palliative care aims to put the patient and the family in the front seat. While physicians and specialists continue with treatments, the remaining portion of the care team – family members and caregivers – focus on how to improve quality of life. This involves understanding the patient’s mood, level of discomfort, emotional state and preferences.

According to The American College of Surgeons Trauma Quality Improvement Program (ACS TQIP), understanding the patient’s support and psycho social functioning is a key component of providing quality care. The ACS TQIP recommends assessing whether or not the palliative care team is equipped to identify the needs of the patient – socially, emotionally and spiritually.


Creating a Psychosocial Support Plan

According to The American College of Surgeons Trauma Quality Improvement Program (ACS TQIP), has compiled not only best practices for palliative care, but also components to help create a psycho social support plan for each patient.

The components include:

  • Identification of a religious leader (if applicable and desirable) for the key decision maker, either within a family or support group
  • Collaboration with specific individuals, religious leaders, counselors or therapists,and so on to support the care team’s efforts
  • Identification of community referrals for long-term support of the family.

Support for the family should also be a top priority, as their reactions and methods of caring for the patient can affect recovery and comfort levels. According to the National Institute on Aging, the palliative care consultation team works with the family, the patient, specialists and physicians to determine the best course of action. This may include soliciting the assistance of chaplains, social workers and nutritionists, too.

The psycho social support plan should take into consideration what services or support the family of the patient needs, too. For instance, family therapists may need to be present to help young children and adults understand how to provide ongoing support for the patient and learn the best ways to communicate with an individual suffering from a long-term or chronic condition.


Finding the Support and Care You Need

A physical illness or disease can affect individuals at any stage of life and age. In some cases, the symptoms may be mild, but many disorders can also be life threatening.

This is why support and care is essential at the onset of any type of discomfort. And, a team effort ensures that you – or a loved one – will navigate chronic conditions in comfort.

It’s important to learn as much about the symptoms and care needed to help support your loved ones. Tap into resources from local and national organizations to boost your knowledge of how the disorder affects everyone involved and to also identify coping skills. In addition, lean on caregivers, such as the qualified staff from Care Indeed, to help with daily living, while coordinating palliative care.

Life with any type of illnesses challenging and learning how to accept the challenge is the first step in living life. While you may struggle with grief and loss when coping with the symptoms as a patient, caregiver or family member, the support you need is only a click away.

Care Indeed is committed to providing you the support and in-home caregivers who understand your challenges and daily struggles at work and home. Learn more about how to get the support you need while living with Dementia today

Dee Bustos

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR

Dee Bustos

Chief Executive Officer

Visionary. Optimist. Tech-savvy and results-oriented. Loves to sing during her almost non-existent spare time. Her motto: Dream BIG

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