13 Jun 2012

Palliative Care’s Healing Powers for Caregivers, Too

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Article by Sally Abrahms:
Five months ago, my 91-year-old mother suffered a massive stroke and spent six days in the palliative care unit of a Connecticut hospital. The specially trained physician, nurse, social worker, and pastoral counselor kept her pain-free until she died.

What they did for me was equally remarkable: they nursed me, the emotionally and physically exhausted caregiver, through what felt like a slow motion death. Their kindness allowed me to heal more quickly than I believe I would have without palliative care.

Palliative care, hospital or home-based, is a way to manage pain, provide emotional support to the patient and family, and help the family navigate our maddening health care system. Like hospice, it can be used for end-of-life, but doesn’t have to be. It can also help control pain from chemotherapy or other medical treatments…

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