Palliative treatment – essential for elderly patients
Palliation is the branch of medicine that provides good living conditions for patients with advanced disease, with no cure.
Palliative medicine is the one that addresses the suffering person globally, including in the terminal stages, although healing is impossible. Its goal is to ensure the best quality of life for both patients and their families.
The initiator of the palliative care movement being Dr. as. Social Cicely Sauders, who intuited that in addition to cancer, aging is an area whose dimensions in the world are constantly growing.
Trying to give a definition of palliative treatment we specify that it represents the set of medical and surgical treatments, total care, all psychological and spiritual support designed to alleviate somatic and mental suffering, improve quality of life and ensure respect for the dignity of the human condition, any disease regardless of diagnosis. The process must be continued until the patient’s death, because any curative strategy is uncertain or ineffective.
Death, like birth, requires medical involvement to ensure the care and comfort of both the patient and his family. Starting from the acceptance of the fact that dying is a normal phenomenon, it is necessary to change the mentality and attitude towards the dying, not only of the medical staff, but also of the whole society. In addition to scientific involvement, a deeply humanistic position is imposed, usually framed in a religious approach.
Because half of the world’s deaths belong to the elderly community, palliative care is aimed primarily at the elderly and is based on their rights to take into account their biological and psychological needs with personalized addressability. The intervention of the psychologist brings a real benefit to the doctor who must remove the feeling of his uselessness in the face of incurable disease and inevitable death.
The purpose of geriatric palliative care
Geriatric palliative treatment has a number of objectives, among which we mention:
- combating patients’ pain;
- guaranteeing as much autonomy as possible to the sick person;
- ensuring an optimal relationship between the sufferer and those around him, based on affection and respect; < / li>
- psychological support given to the patient;
- psychological support given to the patient’s family, so that it can support the patient’s condition, but also its end.
The support of the people of the church is often necessary and very useful.
The notion of “relational support” involves all the psychic contacts between the patient and those who care for him, being one of the most difficult facets of palliative treatment. It opposes abandonment and goes beyond the actual medical act.
An essential component of the palliative approach is “Nursing”. It belongs to the family and the medical staff. Nursing is about achieving the physical comfort of those patients who have largely lost their autonomy. The main objectives of nursing are: ensuring nutrition, hydration, maintaining a rigorous hygiene, active mobilization, skin care, ensuring urination and stool, occupying time with reading books, radio, television, visits, and the right to a certain image. personal (care for clothing, hairstyle).
Where palliative care applies
In the opinion of specialists, the ideal place to apply the palliative approach is at home to the patient, in his family and familiar environment. In extreme cases, the care of these patients can be done in medical or social care institutions.
Regardless of the place of application of palliative treatment, we must remember that the dying have their rights to mental and somatic comfort, have the right to respect and, as we all have the “right to health” and they have the “right to affection and humanism.”