Author Rana Tassawar Ali, June 12 2014 - The concept of palliative care emerges in the 1960s, and the philosophy of palliation includes managing end-of-life symptoms medically. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines palliative care as “an approach that improves the quality of life of individuals and their families facing the problems associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual.” The palliative care is non-specialist care which includes day-to-day care and psychological and social care within hospital or home. People who have HIV/AIDS are living with a killer disease and need palliative care. The palliative care strategy is required at every level either for caregivers or family and community of the patients. The care strategy for HIV positive patients below is a tool.
Effective communication with patients and with their families is a tool to promote health. It has been observed many times that patients and their families often find it difficult to discuss and share their feelings openly. They seek help regarding disease information and patient illness management, and they want to listen to the caregiver. Thus, good communication strategy is needed for good palliative care.
HIV/AIDS patients have unique end-of-life issues, and many significant painful syndromes are associated with HIV/AIDS. The pain management strategy requires both clinical and non-specialist caregivers’ participation for handling situations. This strategy must be built on a patient-by-patient basis, and all relevant family members should be part of this strategy.
The emotional adjustment strategy or psychosocial management strategy helps the patient for managing ongoing side effects of treatment. Emotional adjustment means keeping the patient in as normal a psychological frame of mind as possible and providing counseling and managing stress of patients and their families.
Community care includes care from friends and neighbors and people who know the patient. If people visit the patient and talk about positive things done by the patient for community, it will give more hope to the patient.
Spiritual care is also an important factor, if family and friends pray for the patient, it provides inner relaxation to the patient. Every religion is based upon a belief system, and its followers believe in it more than caregivers, so spiritual care should be part of palliative care.
Every good palliative care plan depends on effective strategy, so results-based palliative care strategies will result in better managed end-of-life symptoms.