Patients, carers and families are being encouraged to have a conversation about palliative care when the Western Trust marks Palliative Care Week next week. Palliative care focuses on helping people of all ages to live well with an illness that is life limiting, seeking to help them achieve the best quality of life as their illness progresses. Palliative care involves the management of pain and other symptoms and providing social, emotional and spiritual support. It puts the individual at the centre of every decision, helping them to plan for their future, enabling them to make choices and supporting their families and carers whether it is provided at home, in a nursing home, hospital or hospice. John McGarvey, Assistant Director for Intermediate Care and Rehabilitation, Western Trust said: “A palliative care approach is beneficial for anyone with a non-curable illness, regardless of age or condition and also supports their family, friends and carers both during illness and afterwards. For the very best outcomes palliative care starts as early as possible and is suitable for a number of years, not just the weeks and days at the end of life. “Don’t be afraid to ask your GP or any other healthcare professional if palliative care could help you or someone you love. By focusing on the person’s physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs, and involving friends and family, palliative care can help to maintain quality of life”. Dr Conn Haughey, Macmillan Consultant in Palliative Medicine and Clinical Lead in Western Trust commented: “Palliative care is not only for people with advanced cancer but also for people living with advanced heart or lung disease, kidney failure and other conditions such as motor neurone disease or dementia. Some people live with their condition for a long time and have extended periods of being well, allowing them to move in and out of palliative care services as their needs change”. “Knowing a loved one is comfortable, with their pain and other needs well managed, can make it easier to spend quality time together doing the things that matter most. Palliative care maximises the quality of life for the person at the centre of care and those important to them and it continues that care into bereavement”. To find out more information about Palliative Care visit:
Picture: Supporting Palliative Care Week 2018 l-r: Colette McCullagh; Occupational Therapist, Marie Donnelly; Palliative Care Nurse Specialist, Dr Frances Robinson; Consultant in Palliative Medicine, Dr Damien McMullan; Consultant in Palliative Medicine, Sandra Smith; Staff Nurse, Thelma Graham; Sister Palliative Care and Noleen McGlinchey; Healthcare Assistant.