The world is experiencing a Health transition and the burden of chronic & incurable diseases is on the rise. Non communicable Diseases (NCD) – Diseases of the cardiovascular system, respiratory system, cancer, Diabetes & neuro-psychiatry are contributing to disability and death. India too has the burden of disability & death in large numbers & it affects the fabric of a family especially when the event occurs in the productive middle age group (35-69 yrs). The different levels of Health care have been integrated to improve overall wellbeing as a means to combat NCD yet in cases which are incurable or the disease having resulted in complications – rehabilitation & palliative care is the effective option left.
Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients & their families facing the problems associated with life threatening illnesses. It addresses not only to the physical component but also to the psychosocial & spiritual components to prevent or relieve the suffering .
An estimated more than 9.5 million deaths occur annually in India & it is estimated that more than half of them would benefit from palliative care services & yet only a negligible percentage of them have access to it. Poor people are more vulnerable due to various factors. Chronic illness has a major impact on the economic status of the family & further pushes into poverty & suffering.
Palliative care is needed where there is any “Serious health related suffering” – where quality of life is being threatened. Patients need doctors with capable heads (knowledge, competence), hearts (empathy, compassion) and hands (skill).
- Has an integrated team of Doctors, nurses, counsellors, Social workers & other caregivers including family members with a holistic approach Integrating psychosocial & spiritual aspects of patient care
- Affirms Life & regards dying as a normal process, intends neither to hasten nor postpone death
- Provides relief from pain & other distressing symptoms & aims at improving the quality of Life of patient & family respecting patient autonomy & choice
- It offers a support system to help the family cope during the patients illness & in their own bereavement.
Palliative Care Services at PSG
Palliative Care services has been functioning at PSG Hospitals since May 2020 with a Team comprising doctors, nursing staff ,Social workers, counsellors & headed by Dr.Harsha Singh (a consultant in Palliative Care associated with Coimbatore Cancer Foundation),in PSG Institute of Oncology.
The team has served patients from all sections of society & their families in need , ranging from paediatric age group to geriatric age group, afflicted by various illnesses like stroke, respiratory failure, cancers (bone, lung, breast, kidney, uterus, stomach, blood). The Holistic care approach with an integrated multidisciplinary team catering to medical, nursing, psychosocial, spiritual aspects of patient care has made a positive impact on patient experience.
The services extended to
- Training the family members on basic home nursing care,
- Simple Yoga exercises for patients & their caregivers
- Facilitating procurement of breast prosthesis, assist devices
- Linkages to other palliative & nursing care centres for follow up care of Out station patients
- Lymphedema clinic – Pneumatic compression for Lymphoedema patients
- Financial assistance for deserving patients through Coimbatore Cancer Foundation
- Bereavement support to family members in case of death of patient
Palliative Care Day – 10th October 2020
People from around the world who have been impacted by a life-limiting illness — either personally or by supporting a loved one — will be making their voices heard, asking policy makers to pay attention to prioritize palliative care policies and services. Further, people who have been standing in solidarity with them — local leaders, volunteers, advocates, clinicians — will be volunteering their time to amplify this public message:
Palliative Care Day slogan: “My Care, My Comfort”
Palliative care team at PSG hospitals is observing this day & in its effort to create awareness among the public has organised to display posters with messages regarding Palliative care at the hospital premises.
Informative Pamphlets are to be distributed to visiting patients . A couple of office bearers of Lions club International would be briefed on the services provided for future collaboration in service activities .
Collective efforts of individual people & organisations towards Palliative Care would enhance the quality of Life of many by promoting, restoring, and maintaining patient’s maximum level of comfort, function, and health, including care toward a dignified death, thus reiterating the statement “There is an end to Cure but no end to Care”.