Dealing with big health issues is not easy physically or emotionally. Your senior may find that she is dealing with anxiety a lot more often than she ever did before. That’s not unusual at all, but it can add layers of discomfort to an already uncomfortable situation. Fortunately, your elderly family member has options with palliative care that can help her to manage her anxiety and other symptoms as well.
Palliative Care Offers Support with Pain and Other Symptoms
Palliative therapies are used in conjunction with whatever other treatment methods your senior is already employing to manage her health. These therapies are geared toward helping her to manage pain, nausea, shortness of breath, and other uncomfortable symptoms related to her health issues, including anxiety. Curative therapies, on the other hand, deal with trying to alleviate the underlying cause of the symptoms, if at all possible. Because of the goals of curative treatments, they’re not always able to help manage those other uncomfortable symptoms.
Palliative Treatment Options Improve Communication with Doctors
One of the frustrating aspects of dealing with a chronic health issue is often that your senior might feel as if she’s at odds with her medical team at times. That can happen when she’s not feeling well or experiencing discomfort and the focus of her care plan has been trying to treat the illness more than managing her symptoms and it can make anxiety worse. With palliative therapies, the entire care team is better able to communicate about what is going on with your senior’s care as a whole rather than focusing on just one aspect of treatment.
Palliative Providers Can Help Find Emotional Support Tools
While your senior’s curative team is focusing on their goals, the palliative providers are working on other angles for her. That might even mean helping her to find tools that bolster her emotional needs, especially anxiety. Working with a talk therapist can be helpful, as can joining support groups, journaling, and working on mindfulness techniques.
Patients Often Feel More in Control of What’s Happening
Part of what can cause your elderly family member to experience more anxiety when she’s battling a chronic illness is that she isn’t in control of what’s happening. When she’s feeling as if she’s being poked and prodded even more, that anxiety can shoot even higher. Working with palliative care providers can help your senior to find other tools that help her to feel more in control of what’s going on around her, even if she’s not able to cure her health issue. Having tools that help her to express herself and to feel heard can do a lot to reduce her anxiety levels.
Your senior may still feel anxious now and again, but palliative therapies can work with her to find the tools she needs to keep those feelings from becoming overwhelming for her. Over time, she may need to rely on those tools more and more, especially if she’s facing an illness that is a progressive one.
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