People with a serious illness sometimes experience distressing symptoms. This can be a result of their medical condition. Sometimes the symptoms are from the treatment itself!
That's when palliative care comes into play. A palliative care professional focuses on removing distress, regardless of the cause. What counts as distress?
- Shortness of breath
- Extreme fatigue
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea, constipation, or diarrhea
- Trouble sleeping
- Depression or anxiety
Palliative care is "comfort care." Its goal is to improve the patient's quality of life. Other professionals focus on curing the underlying condition. The purpose of palliative care is to make each day the best day it can be.