Palliative Care is comfort care designed for persons who have a serious or life-threatening
disease. Palliative care focuses on communication, timely access to care, intense symptom control, flexibility with interventions, high quality of life, and the patient’s wishes.
Patients can begin to receive palliative care from the time of diagnosis or from a few months before their passing. This type of care focuses on symptom control, comfort, and pain control to keep one
functional rather than trying to cure the disease. This type of care seems to fit well with patients who have Sickle Cell Disease Anemia and it may be an important option to consider for yourself or your
children. Palliative Care can be available in many places including hospitals, outpatient clinics, long-term care facilities, hospices, or even in the patient's home.
Palliative care includes medications, massage, therapy, relaxation techniques, music therapy,
acupuncture, aromatherapy, energy restoration, dietary changes, emotional/spiritual support and guidance. It also includes refusing some treatments because they will not improve the person’s overall quality of life. Speaking with a patient who has Sickle Cell and Avascular Necrosis of both hips (bone rubbing on bone), palliative care seems like a smart option. This patient takes only two pain medications, exercises by walking everyday, and uses deep tissue massage to get some relief. He is also faced with the option to have hip replacement surgery done but refused because it would not improve his quality of his life at this point. Take the time to research your own options….palliative care may be the right option for you or your loved one’s specific medical needs! Mr. Carl Webster is a member of American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and he can be reached at, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is Palliative Care an Option for You? Gina Marchesiello, University of Delaware Nursing Student & Mr. Carl Webster