WHAT IS PALLIATIVE CARE
Palliative Care (from Latin palliare, to cloak) aims to maximise the quality of life and relieve the suffering of patients and their families facing the problems associated with life-threatening and life-limiting illness.
Palliative care utilizes a multidisciplinary approach which allows the palliative care team to address physical, emotional, spiritual, and social concerns that arise with advanced illness. It is appropriate for patients at any age and in all disease stages, including those undergoing treatment for curable illnesses, those living with chronic diseases and patients who are nearing the end of life. Palliative care also focuses on providing care and support for the team of carers and families during the course of illness and into bereavement.
Palliative care was developed in response to the needs of patients with cancer; today it is an essential component of care for non-malignant diseases such as chronic, progressive pulmonary disorders, renal disease, chronic heart failure, HIV/AIDS, and progressive neurological conditions.
The rapidly growing field of paediatric palliative care has clearly shown the need for services geared specifically for children with serious conditions including genetic disorders, cancer, prematurity, neurologic disorders, heart and lung pathologies and others.