Journal of Aging and Geriatric Psychiatry

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Short Communication - Journal of Aging and Geriatric Psychiatry (2020) Volume 4, Issue 3

Being early is being on time-integration of palliative and hospice care in advanced illnesses

Patients with advanced (& terminal) illnesses suffer from a great deal of issues not only physical, but also psychosocial, financial, emotional and occasionally spiritual in nature. Palliative (Supportive) & Hospice care is essentially whole person care geared towards potentially preventing and relieving/reducing burdens of these distresses. There are frequent challenges like prognostication estimates which come along the way along with need for continued education and counseling, not just for the patient and caregivers but also other care providers. These require an ‘interdisciplinary’ care model with integrated team approach. Early integration of Palliative/Supportive care can pave the way to a smoother hospice transition later, especially for those with advanced, potentially terminal illnesses. Taking opportunities of having timely, essential conversations regarding personal goals of care, advanced care planning, ‘being prepared for the unexpected’, while alleviating common myths and fears revolving around end of life care, can ease the journey for such patients and families. Environmental catastrophes like the recent unprecedented crises of a pandemic situation call for our community of professionals to come up with means of staying connected with one another and our patient population for continuing to provide the above mentioned essential resources, including prescription medications, while ensuring our own learning, well-being and preventing burn-out. My talk during the conference will further allude to these points.

Author(s): Ahsan Azhar

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