What is Palliative Care?

Many people think that Palliative Care means End of Life Care, and that a person must be close to death to benefit from it. This is not the case. Palliative Care can include End of Life Care, but also focuses on illness at different points in time, even years before we die. Palliative Care can include the following:

  • Tests needed to better understand and manage symptoms
  • Treatment of pain and other symptoms like nausea
  • Psychological, Social and Emotional support for you and your loved ones
  • Focus on living as actively as possible

Palliative Care providers are specially trained in chronic disease symptom treatments, as well as the spiritual, social, and emotional aspects of coping with chronic illness. They can also help you understand the illness that you have, and the way that it may progress. Your liver specialist and family physician, may also discuss these issues with you.

Most people and their families need more than just medical advice and treatment explanations while they cope with a chronic disease like cirrhosis. Spiritual, social, and emotional issues play a large role in how satisfied people are with their lives. It’s important to deal with all of these issues, in addition to dealing with your cirrhosis itself.

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