When an individual is diagnosed with cancer, they need support from many different outlets, including friends, family, and a trusted team of healthcare providers. If someone you love has been diagnosed with cancer, and you’re thinking about healthcare options, there are many facets to consider.
Cancer patients experience great pain, both physically and mentally, and are often prescribed chemotherapy which is a way to treat cancer by using drugs to kill cancer cells in the body. Chemotherapy is well known to cause drastic side effects such as nausea and vomiting, hair loss, and fatigue.
Between the painful measures to treat the disease and the strife of battling the negative emotional feelings that are sometimes inevitable for a cancer patient, life can feel extremely overwhelming at times and it’s important to understand why quality care is so important for cancer patients and their families.
Palliative Care is given to those who have a life-threatening disease, including cancer, and is meant to improve patients’ quality of life by approaching care from a more holistic approach. It looks at the patient as a whole person; it doesn’t only look at the disease.
It is also sometimes referred to as Comfort Care, Supportive Care, or System Management, because Palliative Care is meant to not only treat and relieve symptoms from the illness and side effects from treatment, but it also manages a patient’s:
- Social well-being
- Physical health
- Emotional health
- Spiritual guidance
Palliative Care specialists typically work as part of a multidisciplinary team that may include nurses, doctors, spiritual advisors, chaplains, pharmacists, psychologists, and social workers.
Many individuals who receive Palliative Care prefer to stay in their own home, because it provides comfort and familiarity to them. At Integracare, we understand that this is a sensitive time in your family’s life, and we recognize the importance of feeling comfortable and safe.
We provide Palliative Care services directly to wherever your loved one calls home, and our team is specifically trained and educated in caring for patients with cancer, and we are fully committed to providing the highest quality home health care in the GTA.
All Integracare Caregivers are certified and/or registered. They are highly screened, trained and supervised by a team of Registered Nursing Coordinators, and they receive regular on-site supervision.
What makes us stand out even further is our level of empathy. Our team doesn’t simply look at providing care as a job — we learn from Clients’ stories and develop real connections with them. We believe that compassionate care brings comfort in a time of need and we apply compassion to everything that we do.
Caregivers listen to the concerns of Clients and work with them closely to provide meaningful companionship and the appropriate support for your loved one’s needs.
If your family member or loved one has been diagnosed with cancer, consider how Palliative Care can be a beneficial aspect to their health plan.
Palliative Care Improves Social Life
Often, cancer patients find it difficult to talk about their physical and emotional pain with friends and family, because they might be worried about burdening the people in their life with what is happening to them. Alternatively, they might not want to discuss certain issues because they worry about their friends and family won’t understand.
In Palliative Care, our Caregivers and our Registered Nursing Coordinators work with Clients to develop a trusted relationship. Creating a safe space is an extremely important aspect of our in-home care services, and we are always careful to match our Clients with the best Caregiver for their needs.
Our staff can also improve communication between primary health providers and Clients through healthcare advocacy and introducing discussions about treatments. We listen to the needs of all of our Clients, and we believe that home healthcare should also mean healthcare advocacy. Give us a call to learn more.
Palliative Care Alleviates Pain
Physical side effects of cancer differ depending on several factors: the type of cancer, its stage, the treatment, and the overall general health of the patient.
Physical side effects can include:
- Bleeding and bruising
- Nerve problems
- Skin and nail changes
- Memory and concentration problems
- Nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting
- Sleep problems
- Issues with breathing
Palliative Care for physical side effects may include physical therapy, anti-nausea medications, physiotherapy, and massage therapy.
Integracare’s professional team of Palliative Care Registered Massage Therapists (RMTs) is trained to use gentle massage strokes on Clients, and their techniques can be altered to suit any health requirement. As with all of our Caregivers, Integracare’s RMTs utilize compassion and kindness in the care that they provide.
Reduced mobility in cancer patients can result in poor circulation and nerve function in the body that results in degeneration, the shortening of muscles, and rigidness in joints that cannot straighten properly. Massage can help shortened muscles with gentle stretching and as tension and stress are relieved, minor physical ailments can be reduced.
Massage therapy can also help those receiving chemotherapy with the discomfort and exhaustion of the treatment. Studies have shown that with regular massage treatment, the severity of patient’s nausea reduces, and the soothing sensation of touch improves overall mental well-being.
Palliative Care Improves Mental Health
Cancer treatments, symptoms, and medications can all affect how the mind operates. A patient will likely feel anxious and worry about whether treatment is working or not and if someone isn’t sleeping enough, it might be difficult to think clearly.
Palliative Care for mental health includes counselling, meditation, exercise, and often, medications are prescribed for anxiety and depression. Activities that help reduce stress such as painting, drawing, or chair yoga are recommended.
Our Caregivers provide engaging companionship for your loved one, and they also communicate directly with their doctors, counsellors, and other mental health providers to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Integracare is also well aware of the toll that cancer takes on patients’ family, friends, and loved ones. We are here to support you too, and our Caregivers listen carefully to your worries and concerns.
Palliative Care Provides Spiritual and Emotional Support
When curative treatment is no longer an option, the significance is placed on how to measure comfort and emotional well-being. The purpose of Palliative Care is to provide those with life-threatening illness an opportunity to live life as fully as possible, and to show them that they are supported and loved.
Integracare makes a promise to provide compassionate, knowledgeable assistance and support to our Clients and their families.
In-home care for Clients with cancer allows them to be close to family and loved ones, and they can enjoy the familiarity of their own home during a strenuous time, and feel confident and relaxed.