Geriatric Palliative Care – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Palliative Care Services Glossary

What is Geriatric Palliative Care?

Geriatric palliative care is a specialized form of medical care that focuses on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness for older adults. It is a holistic approach that aims to improve the quality of life for elderly patients and their families by addressing physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs. The goal of geriatric palliative care is to provide comfort and support to patients with chronic or life-limiting conditions, rather than focusing solely on curing the illness.

Who can benefit from Geriatric Palliative Care?

Geriatric palliative care is designed for older adults who are facing serious illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, dementia, or other chronic conditions. Patients who are experiencing pain, discomfort, or other distressing symptoms can benefit from the specialized care provided by a geriatric palliative care team. This form of care is not limited to patients who are at the end of life, but can be beneficial at any stage of a serious illness.

What services are included in Geriatric Palliative Care?

Geriatric palliative care services are tailored to meet the individual needs of each patient and may include a combination of medical, emotional, and spiritual support. Some of the services commonly provided in geriatric palliative care include pain management, symptom control, emotional support, spiritual counseling, assistance with decision-making, and coordination of care among healthcare providers. The goal is to help patients and their families navigate the challenges of a serious illness with dignity and compassion.

How is pain management addressed in Geriatric Palliative Care?

Pain management is a key component of geriatric palliative care, as older adults are more likely to experience chronic pain due to age-related conditions. The geriatric palliative care team works closely with patients to develop a personalized pain management plan that may include medications, physical therapy, relaxation techniques, and other interventions to help alleviate pain and improve quality of life. The goal is to ensure that patients are as comfortable as possible and able to maintain their independence and dignity.

What is the role of the family in Geriatric Palliative Care?

Family members play a crucial role in geriatric palliative care, as they provide emotional support, assistance with daily activities, and help with decision-making for their loved ones. The geriatric palliative care team works closely with families to ensure that they are informed about the patient’s condition, involved in care planning, and supported in coping with the challenges of a serious illness. Family members are encouraged to ask questions, share their concerns, and participate in discussions about the patient’s care to ensure that their needs are also being addressed.

How does Geriatric Palliative Care differ from traditional hospice care?

Geriatric palliative care and traditional hospice care both focus on providing comfort and support to patients with serious illnesses, but there are some key differences between the two. Geriatric palliative care can be provided at any stage of a serious illness, while hospice care is typically reserved for patients who are nearing the end of life. Additionally, geriatric palliative care is often provided alongside curative treatments, while hospice care focuses on comfort care only. Both forms of care aim to improve quality of life and provide support to patients and their families during difficult times.