In the late 1950s, Dr. Cicely Saunders decided to devote a significant portion of her practice toward individuals suffering from chronic and life-threatening diseases, based on careful observation of her patients. She advocated that only a specialized, interdisciplinary team could relieve the “total pain” of a patient. This team concept is still at the very core of Palliative care.

In 1969, the Swiss-American psychiatrist wrote the groundbreaking book On Death and Dying, which outlined the five stages of grief. It also outlined ways to treat individuals with life-threatening illnesses with dignity, respect, and compassion.

Palliative medicine is the continuation to accept life on its own terms, openly, and honestly. It has been an ongoing study since Dr. Cicely Saunders decided to work closely with her terminally ill patients. Much has evolved from the initial studies from the 1950s, but the premise of compassionate teamwork remains the same.

In Palliative care, patients receive support with a holistic, interdisciplinary approach. Recent research has shown that more and more Seniors with life-threatening illnesses and serious conditions are choosing to stay at home, rather than relocate to a nursing or assisted living facility.

To be referred to Palliative care is not a simple concept to digest — it’s not easy for patients and it’s not easy for friends or family members. With the option to remain at home, patients aren’t forced to relocate to an unfamiliar place. They can enjoy the comfort of a place they know and cherish.

Integracare is a leading private home health care provider specializing in Palliative and in home health care in Toronto and Mississauga. We apply dignity and respect to everything that we do and believe that the well-being of our Clients always comes first.

Our staff is highly trained in professional and compassionate care. All Integracare Caregivers are certified or registered and are the most compassionate, dependable and knowledgeable support workers in the industry.

When is a Good Time to Consider Palliative Care?

Palliative Care treats the symptoms that occur during a life-threatening condition or a serious illness, including emotional, physical, and psychological symptoms, as well as side effects of primary treatment. Whereas primary treatment focuses on curing the illness or extending life, Palliative Care is about improving quality of life during treatment.

Palliative care is recommended to help alleviate pain and stress from:

  • Cancer
  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver failure
  • ALS and Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease

If you’re concerned with the quality of life of someone you love, consider initiating a Palliative care program alongside additional health care treatment plans. Palliative care works best when it runs in conjunction with other medical plans to treat illnesses, such as chemotherapy.

The idea of Palliative care is to improve your loved one’s life by engaging them with resources such as massage therapy, physiotherapy, and potentially live-in nursing care. It serves as a necessary extension to keep patients emotionally healthy and to help alleviate painful symptoms from drugs and medical procedures.

The Goals of Palliative Care

The main goal of in-home Palliative care is to increase patients’ quality of life by providing support emotionally, socially, and physically. In order to be as effective as possible, it should be introduced as early as possible because the sooner Palliative care is part of a person’s care plan, the more help they will receive.

When you make a firm commitment when a diagnosis is first declared to in-home Palliative care, you will reduce immense stress and worry. You will never have to face this challenging part of life alone knowing that there is a plan in action for your family member or friend with a team of professional in-home Palliative Caregivers. To get answers to challenging questions about Palliative care make sure you visit our blog that has helpful articles for you and your family. In the meantime, consider the goals of Palliative care and why it’s so important for you and your loved one’s life.

To Keep Pain to a Minimum

Health Care at Home

Integracare’s aim is to increase the quality of life for your loved one by reducing pain caused by medicines, procedures, and symptoms from illness. To do this, our team of Personal Support Workers (PSWs) and Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs) always discuss a three-step pain management plan with your loved one at the beginning of treatment.

This involves:

  • Identifying the challenge — our team works compassionately and diligently to address what type of pain Clients experience, where it originates from, and what solutions can be applied.
  • Establish goals with Clients — the effective relief of pain depends mainly on a comprehensive assessment to identify the different physical, psychological, social, and spiritual aspects that are specific to each patient, and optimally intercede on a multidisciplinary level.
  • A step-by-step approach to the assessment of pain — this is when pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical pain management tools are discussed.

Massage Therapy for Palliative Care

Integracare offers in-home massage therapy for Palliative Care patients. Our staff is comprised of professional Registered Massage Therapists (RMTs) who are highly trained to practice on Seniors with sore muscles and joints.

Our RMTs adapt their techniques to suit the Client’s current state of health and any presenting symptom in order to achieve the desired outcome. They use gentle strokes to accommodate whatever the Client’s needs may be. For example, if an individual is unable to lay face-down on the massage table, there are other positioning options, such as lying on their side or sitting in a recliner.

Palliative care massage addresses symptom issues, the harsh side effects of various treatments, and the psychological, social, and emotional consequences of living with a life-threatening illness. The sense of touch promotes a great sense of humanity and compassion for Clients. For someone experiencing a great deal of pain both physically and emotionally, even a hand massage can do wonders for their overall well-being.

To Improve Emotional Well-being through Social Interaction, Counselling, and More

Health Care at Home

Palliative care promotes both physical and mental health. It can feel emotionally draining for a patient who has been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. It’s important for Clients to work with individuals such as counselors and Caregivers to express concerns and expectations about the care and support they’re receiving.

In-home care provides one-on-one support. Clients can discuss health matters freely and have 24-hour access to private Caregivers, RPNs, and more. It’s vital for patients to feel sincere connections with others during this difficult time, and to know that they’re not alone. Even if family and friends are present, an objective set of ears can be extremely beneficial because often Clients don’t want to burden those who are close to them with serious health matters and would rather discuss personal issues with health professionals.

At Integracare, compassionate care is our number one priority. Our own personal goal is to ensure that compassion goes into every aspect of what we do. Nothing is more important to us than the well-being of our Clients and their families and friends. We’ve been doing this for almost 30 years, and we understand the hardships and challenges that are involved.

For further information on what our goals are, please call us for more information or visit our website. We’re here to remind you that you’re not alone on this journey. We’re here to help you in any way that we can.