Heart disease makes it more difficult for your family member to live the life that she wants to live. She may even hear from her doctors that her life expectancy is suddenly a lot shorter than she ever expected it would be. Choosing palliative care much sooner than the end stages of her life can help her to regain some of the control and quality of life that she may feel slipping away from her.
Improved Quality of Life
Quality of life is the biggest consideration for any type of care you and your family member consider. When it comes to managing heart disease, palliative care options can help your family member to feel better and happier overall. These small improvements in mood and in physical health can offer huge benefits that can make life easier in general. Palliative providers can help your family member to address all of the areas of her life that are impacted by heart disease, helping her to live the life that she wants to live.
Better Support for Managing Symptoms
Managing symptoms with heart disease can feel impossible at times. As your family member’s condition worsens, it’s possible that she will develop new symptoms that feel completely out of control to her. Symptoms like shortness of breath, edema in her extremities, and pain during and after exertion. Palliative treatments can help your family member to learn techniques to manage these and other symptoms.
Help with Education and Decisions
Doctors don’t have as much time to help educate patients as they used to have. It can feel as if the situations your family member is facing are overwhelming and impossible to understand fully. But with the help of palliative care, you and your family member are able to learn much more about what she’s facing and how she can manage her health effectively.
Potential for Longer Lifespan
Palliative care has a proven track record in improving lifespan in people with illnesses like cancer, and it can do the same for people with heart disease, too. Palliative care can reduce trips to the hospital, for instance, which can be instrumental in increasing your family member’s lifespan. Reducing stress, managing symptoms, and feeling more confident in managing overall health can also contribute to a longer life.
Support for Family Members
Being a family caregiver for someone with heart disease can be difficult, and palliative care offers a chance for greater support. Having both emotional and hands-on support can keep family caregivers in the right mindset to continue to be there for the person that they love. It’s not easy to watch a family member’s health deteriorate as their heart disease worsens. Understanding what to expect and knowing where to find resources can make a big difference.
Talk with your family member’s medical providers about palliative options that might be available to her immediately upon diagnosis of heart disease. Waiting to start palliative care can leave your family member without the resources she needs to manage her heart disease effectively.
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