Palliative Care: Managing the Side-Effects of Different Diseases

The term “Palliative Care” was first coined in the early 1970s by Canadian urologist Balfour Mount. It originates from the Latin word palliare, which in English means, “to cloak.” He created the first Palliative Care ward at the Royal-Victoria Hospital in Montréal. Palliative Care grew out of the hospice movement that is typically associated with Dame Cicely Saunders, who was the founder of St. Christopher’s Hospice for the terminally ill in London, England.

Today, Palliative Care remains an integral component of the central health plan of people with life-threatening illnesses. It is an interdisciplinary approach to enhancing the quality of life and limiting the suffering of individuals who have been diagnosed with complex, serious diseases.

Palliative Care teams work with other medical professionals such as doctors and surgeons to provide a holistic approach to coping with the symptoms from treatments such as chemotherapy, as well as the emotional and physical stresses that having a serious condition entails.

If someone you love has recently been diagnosed with a critical illness, consider how a live-in senior care agency provides essential caregiving and round-the-clock assistance. Integracare offers live-in Palliative Care Personal Support Workers (PSWs) who will increase your loved one’s quality of life by providing professional assistance and compassion and companionship. wherever and whenever needed.

Our PSWs are educated and have exceptional experience. Our hiring process is extremely rigorous, and we only work with licensed professionals. Additionally, we conduct extensive background checks to ensure the highest quality in Senior healthcare.

We have specialized PSWs that work as Palliative Caregivers. They’re educated and trained to work with Clients who have highly sensitive and complex illnesses. Of course, not all diseases are alike and each individual Client requires a unique level of care in addition to the treatments prescribed by Doctors and other health professionals.

Our Palliative Care team will help to improve the quality of life for your loved one, and they’re always there to give a hand of support through this difficult time. They will also be there for you and your family. Integracare strongly believes in open communication, and we will treat your entire family and support system with dignity and respect.

Palliative Care is highly recommended when a loved one has been diagnosed with:

 

  • Cancer
  • Alzheimer’s disease and other types of Dementia
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Stroke
  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • And more

 

None of these outweigh each other in importance or significance, but in this article, we’ll focus on how Palliative Care for those living with Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and Parkinson’s disease.

 

Alzheimer’s disease

 

Alzheimer’s disease is a type of Dementia that affects cognitive functioning including memory, reason, and judgment. Over time, the disease worsens and people living with Dementia begin to slip back in time as present-day memories begin to evaporate. They will eventually not recognize family members and loved ones, and sometimes people living with Dementia will forget how to do things such as swallowing and walking.

Integracare delivers Palliative Care in Toronto to people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of Dementia.

Facing Alzheimer’s is incredibly stressful for both the Client and their family members. Currently, there is no cure for the disease, and more care and support will be needed as time goes on.

Our specially trained team of Palliative Caregivers will work with your loved one’s doctors, nurses, social workers, and other specialists to provide an extra layer of trusted support and friendship.

A Palliative Care team can be useful for people living with Alzheimer’s in several ways. It helps treat some of the symptoms of the disease, such as anxiety, depression, and sleep deprivation. The team will educate your family member or friend, as well as you and your family about what might trigger challenging behavioural symptoms and how to reduce them.

Our team will help plan a daily routine for your loved one, as this is critical to maintaining stability for people living with Alzheimer’s. That daily plan might include daily exercise and memory therapy, and we’ll ensure to keep a calm, quiet environment to encourage good sleeping habits.

 

Cancer

 

Cancer is a group of more than 100 illnesses that can begin almost anywhere in the body. It essentially occurs when normal cells in the body change and grow uncontrollably. These cells can form a mass called a tumor. This can be benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous, and can spread to other parts of the body).

Some cancers don’t form solid tumors, and these include leukemia, most types of lymphoma, and myeloma.

Integracare provides home health care for Seniors that includes Palliative Care for people living with cancer. Our team understands that it’s not just the disease that can cause suffering for Clients, but it’s also treatments that can cause great detrimental effects.

Cancer and cancer treatment symptoms may include nausea, pain, fatigue, vomiting, depression, anxiety, diarrhea, constipation, shortness of breath, or confusion. Our team specializes in reliving the symptoms and stresses of cancer, and they can also assist with other situations, such as feeling overwhelmed by complex medical information, or worry and confusion about making critical treatment decisions.

Our Palliative Caregivers have the expertise and the time to interpret the often-complicated medical information Clients receive from their oncologists (cancer specialists). They’ll help your loved one (and you) understand what it all means. They’re there for you night and day.

 

Parkinson’s Disease

 

Parkinson’s disease is an illness of the central nervous system that is progressive and affects movement and muscles. It gradually develops, often starting with a barely noticeable tremor in one hand. People with the disease can also suffer from muscle stiffness, jerking, and slowing.

It’s one of the most common disorders of the nervous system. It works by damaging the system of nerves that the brain uses to instruct the body’s muscles what to do. Due to the loss of dopamine, brain activity is affected. Dopamine is an important chemical messenger that helps the neurons in the brain keep active.

Parkinson’s disease worsens with time. It can’t be cured, however, medications and Palliative Care can improve the symptoms.

People with the disease are often prescribed a combination of carbidopa and levodopa which helps replenish the brain’s supply of dopamine. Our team will help manage the prescription and keep a watchful eye on how it’s reacting with your loved one.

Clients with Parkinson’s benefit from the expertise of physical, occupational, and speech therapists to help them manage practical issues in their daily lives. Integracare Caregivers will work with your loved one’s team, and we also provide at-home Registered Physiotherapists and Massage Therapists.

There might come a time when decisions about nutrition and feeding tubes need to be made, and rest assured that our team will be able to provide guidance on this difficult subject.

Our team will discuss with your loved one what their goals are, and what their hopes are for support and how they can continue to live life to the fullest. Parkinson’s disease tends to run a long course, so our team will be sure to set these goals in place far in advance.

Be informed of your loved one’s condition to receive the best possible solutions. Palliative Care is not an easy subject to address, but it’s an important one to understand. Please reach out today to discover how Integracare’s services can provide you and your family comfort, support, and compassion.