The Palliative Care Tent: How to Invite People In?
In her article Healy describes how palliative care helps people who are very ill and need to manage everything from their pain to living their lives with quality. These programs also support families. The author also points out that often patients are confused and compare hospice and palliative care, thinking of the two programs as similar rather than as two extremely different types of medical services and support.
Palliative care and hospice care differ in two big ways.
- Patients can receive palliative care from the moment they receive a diagnosis.
- Patients can receive palliative care and pursue treatment options at the same time.
Several Interesting Quotes
- If palliative care were a pill, government regulators would very likely approve it for the U.S. Market. Federal healthcare insurance programs would quickly agree to pay physicians and hospitals for treating patients with the new therapy. And patients would make it a blockbuster drug in no time flat.
- This new branch of medicine is about adding life to patients’ years rather than years to their lives.
The LA Times article quotes a Massachusetts General Hospital physician, Dr. Jennifer S. Temel, the lead researcher for an August 2010 article, Early Palliative Care for Patients with Metastatic Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer, that is freely available from The New England Journal of Medicine (NJM). The authors write, “Despite receiving less aggressive end-of-life care, patients in the palliative care group had significantly longer survival than those in the standard care group (median survival, 11.6 vs. 8.9 months).” Note: Check out the graph that illustrates these findings at NJM.
In August 2010 a blog post here on AsOurParentsAge described an episode of The Diane Rehm Show, a nationally broadcast program that originates in Washington, DC. The episode featured experts in palliative care and Dr. Temel was a guest on this program.
October 25, 2011 - Posted by Marti Weston | aging parents, Caregiving, end of life, end of life decisions, palliative care | Get Palliative Care.org, Jennifer S. Temel, Los Angeles Times, Massachusetts General Hospital, MD, Melissa Healy, palliative care, patient treatment options
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Becoming A Grown-up Child
One day in April 2007 my husband and I were the adult kids in our families — we are the only adult children — and the next day we became what we laughingly call “real grown-ups,” helping first one, then two, and for a while all three of our parents. It’s time to give back, and we do so willingly and happily. However the process is not easy, and it is not free from anxiety and tension. Check out the As Our Parents Age About page to learn more about the mission of this blog.
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