Despite the public perception that their services are reserved for those that are at death’s door, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that palliative care specialists helped patients diagnosed with deadly cancers live beyond traditional expectations.
According to the study, patients who did not receive palliative – or pain-relieving – services during their treatments lived for an average of 8.9 months. However, those who were treated by such specialists survived for an average of almost a year.
Palliative care is provided by a team of doctors, nurses and other specialists who work together with a patient’s other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. Massage therapists, pharmacists, nutritionists, chaplains and others may also be part of the team. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness and can be provided along with curative treatment.
Caring Connections is great place to begin with advice on helping those you love with advance care planning, community resources that may be available including Meals on Wheels, and respite care. It is about how you live your extended life with quality and helpful assistance.
An extended lifespan could give those unfortunate enough to receive a terminal cancer diagnosis time to set their affairs in order, enabling them to allocate money from wills and life insurance policies to their survivors as well. A plan can help ensure your peace of mind for your loved ones and, of course, for you.