Personal Farewells > Our Blog > 2022 > April

Common Myths around Palliative Care

When we’re faced with a life changing development it can be hard to make sense of what’s to come. There are so many things to consider, let alone trying to understand what might apply to your particular situation.

Palliative care is one area that is often misunderstood and there are many misconceptions out there that can lead to feelings of confusion and despair.

Here at Personal Farewells we’re committed to helping families  during difficult times and sharing our empathy and expertise to make things much more manageable. We’ve put together this blog to help dispel some of the common myths around palliative care and display how this form of family-centred care can create a good quality of life. 

Palliative Care Is Just About Treating Pain and Other Physical Symptoms

Palliative care aims to provide a holistic approach with an overall goal to give you the best quality of life possible. 

Treatment is often designed to suit your particular needs that not only covers pain management but also takes care of any other emotional, psychological, and social needs you may have.

Palliative Care Hastens Death

Palliative care provides a broad comprehensive level of care. It offers physical, emotional, and spiritual support for not only you but also your whole family. 

As such, this type of care does not hasten death, but rather provides comfort and the best quality of life from when it is initially required all the way through until the end of life.

Palliative Care Is Only for People Dying of Cancer

Palliative care is not limited to people diagnosed with cancer or any other particular type of illness. 

It’s available to be accessed by anyone who is suffering with a life limiting illness or might be reaching their natural end of life. This includes chronic diseases such as heart failure to other neurological illnesses such as dementia.  

You Can Only Receive Palliative Care in A Hospital

This is perhaps the biggest misconception held about palliative care. Palliative care can be provided in a range of places such as at home or an aged care facility, or at a location offering more specialised treatment options such as a hospice or hospital.

A patient’s wishes will form a central part of where the care is provided, but this may be exceeded by specialised medical needs.

Treatment Stops When Palliative Care Starts

Palliative care is not a stand-alone type of care nor is it dictated to start a particular point of time. It can begin at any time following diagnosis of a life-limiting illness and can be undertaken at the same time as other forms of treatment.

This means you can receive palliative care alongside treatments you may already be receiving for other illnesses such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

Palliative Care Is Only Available When You’re in Your Last Few Days of Dying

This common misconception is often associated with a patient’s reluctance to undertake this form of care.

Palliative care is available once a patient has been diagnosed with a life shortening illness. By offering a holistic comprehensive approach, it aims to improve quality of life that can cover an extended period, be it weeks, months or years.

Palliative Care Isn’t for Family and Friends

Palliative care takes a holistic family centred approach by offering care not only for the directly impacted patient but also for their extended support network.

This includes offering services they might find helpful and assisting them to cope during difficult times such as; providing a forum to come together to talk about sensitive issues and offering additional counselling and grief support services.

Coming to terms with a life changing development is a difficult time for all those involved. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed and be apprehensive about certain forms of care that can actually improve the quality of our lives.

Palliative care is one form of care that needs to be clearly understood. Despite some misconceptions out there, it’s not a stand-alone treatment limited to treating pain at a hospital, for patients in the last days of their life.

In fact, it’s a holistic family centred care that offers physical, emotional, and spiritual support for not only you but also your whole family. It does not hasten death but aims to provide comfort and best quality of life. It’s also not mutually exclusive and can be undertaken concurrently with other forms of treatment either at home or another facility that may be more appropriate.

We hope this blog has cleared up some of the common misconceptions associated with palliative care. Here at Personal Farewells we strive to be there for families when they need us the most.

We offer a comprehensive level of personalised care and guide you through every step of planning your funeral arrangements. We can come to you and help make sure your wishes are respectfully taken care of.

Should you have any further questions on any matters related to funeral arrangements, don’t hesitate to contact us today.

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