WHAT IS IT?
It is the branch of medicine defined as the integral and interdisciplinary care that is provided to the patient and his family when a life-threatening condition is diagnosed, regardless of the outcome.
In the case of the patient’s death, the palliative caregivers keep helping the family through the grieving process.
WHAT IS ITS PURPOSE?
Palliative care purpose is to improve the quality of life of patients and their loved ones when they face the challenges typical of a life-threatening diagnosis. It prevents and alleviates suffering through the early identification, evaluation and correct treatment of pain and other problems, whether physical, psychosocial or spiritual. As a team, it provides assistance to patients and to their caregivers, to create a support system that helps patients continue living as actively as possible until their death, paying attention to their practical needs. If needed, psychological support is provided at the time of the mourning.
Palliative care is provided through integrated health services focused on the person and paying special attention to his/her needs and preferences.
Through palliative care, death can be a loving and contained experience, a time accompanied, full of peace and serenity, in a place most convenient for the patient and his/her relatives, with the satisfaction of having closed all cycles.
WHAT DO THE PALLIATIVE CAREGIVERS DO?
- They provide a comprehensive and interdisciplinary care to the patient and his family, when there is a condition endangering life.
- They contain, accompany, listen, translate the language of the healing team to the patients and their loved ones; they advise them to making decisions; they coordinate the logistics of the patient’s care; and they are intermediaries between patients and their loved ones.
- They eliminate the taboos of the patient and his family as to the disease, the pain, the death, the farewell and the grieving, thus allowing to create a loving end of life.
- Major questions they answer: Will I die alone? Am I going to suffer? How will my beloved ones stay? What’s behind death?
- They instill in the patients the certitude that they will keep on being with their loved ones after their death.
- They emphasize that the language of love knows no barriers, no matter the age, the diagnosis, or the conditions of the patients; these still have all the faculties to receive the unconditional love that their loved ones want to offer them and, in turn, to give them their love.
- They consolidate the physical, medical, mental, emotional and psychological conditions so that the patients and their loved ones share their time, wisdom and love as part of expanding life, instead of prolonging it.