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Palliative Care

Palliative Care
End-of-life care is never an easy topic to address because it's so hard to accept a loved one's impending death, even though everyone is destined to face their own mortality. But like caregiving itself, if wants and wishes are discussed openly before there is a crisis, you can limit the amount of pain, grieving and guilt over what needs to be done and find peace in the fact that dignity was preserved and desires were fulfilled for the person at the end of their life.

Focusing on End of Life Issues

  • When To Talk About End-of-Life Care

    By: Chris Iliades

    Back in the 1990s one of the largest studies to ever look at end-of-life issues, called the SUPPORT study, found that less than one in four seriously ill patients ever talked to their doctor about how or where they wanted to end their life.

  • Seven Ways Grieving Affects Your Health

    Sleeplessness, loss of appetite and a worsening of medical conditions can all result from grieving.

  • The Most Important Conversation

    By: Julie Davis

    When an aging parent begins the journey toward end of life we have to acknowledge for ourselves what is happening and say the things that need to be said.      

  • A Model Of Care

    Having served the communities of MetroWest Boston for over 100 years, the nurses and clinicians of the Natick Visiting Nurse Association have always sought to help people live longer and sustain a high quality of life while remaining independent in their own homes, for as long as possible.

  • How Families Anticipating A Loss Can Bring Joy Into Their Holiday Celebrations

    By: Steve Barlam

    Find out how to cope with the approaching loss of a senior loved one during the holiday season. 

  • How To Give Your Parent A Peaceful Passage: 9 Pieces Of Bedside Wisdom

    By: Janice Van Dyck

    There are few things more difficult than saying goodbye to a dying parent. In between talking to doctors and family members, not to mention trying to cope emotionally, what affairs do you need to get in order?

  • Quality Of Life Needs To Include Quality Of Death

    By: Julie Davis

    It makes us uncomfortable to talk about, so any discussion of end-of-life care needs gets pushed under the rug for as long as possible, sometimes for so long that it’s too late to take meaningful steps to ease the transition.

  • When Palliative Care Is What The Patient Wants

    By: Chris Iliades

    A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found that despite all the attention to better end-of-life-care and death with dignity, a majority of people who receive life-extending care in the last week of their life had previously expressed their desire to receive only symptom relief and comfort care.

  • A Better Way of Dying

    By: Jeanne & Eileen Fitzpatrick

    The new book from two sisters, one a lawyer and the other a doctor, challenges us to make important decisions when there is time to reflect, rather than in a moment of crisis, and, more importantly, how to make sure your wishes are followed.

  • Renewing The Concept Of A "Good Death"

    By: Chris Iliades

    There was a time in America when we thought of death as a natural and important milestone. People wanted to leave this world at peace with their maker and supported by their loved ones. During the Civil War, soldiers mortally wounded on the battlefield would often surround themselves with family photographs to simulate a good death.

  • Understanding Hospice

    There is often much confusion between the terms hospice and palliative care because both types of care have very similar goals. Palliative care is a form of medical treatment that concentrates on reducing the severity of the symptoms of the disease or illness – it is not curative treatment. The goal of palliative care then is to prevent and relieve suffering and improve the quality of life for the patient, irrespective of whether the patient is expected to fully recover, live with chronic illness for an extended time or experience disease progression. Hospice care is palliative care delivered to those at the end of life.