Millions of Baby Boomers are swiftly heading towards old age. This has begun to put lots of pressure on their adult children. As they watch the health of their parents fail and come to the stark realization that the parents they love will not return to good health, the children of those aging Baby Boomers have tough decisions to make. The key question becomes ‘What is the best way to take care of aging parents?’ Many of them are becoming aware of an excellent option. One that could help to ensure their parents last days will be good ones. That solution is palliative care.
Palliative care is treatment designed to provide relief from both physical and mental pain for people that are very old or suffering with terminal illnesses. Palliative care doesn’t seek to find the cause or the cure for those illnesses. The focus of this type of treatment is to keep the patient as comfortable and pain-free as possible. It’s seen as one the most humane ways to help terminally ill people live out their days. For many adult children this is the best option available to them. It provides them with the peace of mind of knowing their parents will not be in pain and will be receiving quality care.
The goal of palliative care is to ensure the patient has the best quality of life possible. It also relives the stress on their loved ones. This type of care requires the coordinated efforts of doctors and other medical specialists, nurses, and even social workers. Together with the family members, the medical team offers the patient all the support they need to make their last days as good as possible. The medical team sometimes offer curative treatment during palliative care, but their primary goal is to comfort the patient and reduce or eliminate pain.
Generally, patients with serious illness like congestive heart failure, cancer, kidney disease, ALS, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s Disease receive palliative care when it becomes obvious the end of their life is near. The medical team works to deal with the depression, difficulty sleeping, nausea, fatigue, constipation, and other complications that often accompanies these conditions. The palliative care team give the patient’s family some measure of control by making them of aware of the treatment options and choices. Close communications between the loved ones and palliative care team helps to keep the patient happy.