Complete Care When Complete Cure is Not Possible
“Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community”. (Anthony J. D'Angelo). Friends, when any human life experiences complicated medical issues, not only that person alone suffers physically, emotionally and financially but also his/her family members. With the advancement of medical science, treatment of almost all discovered diseases is possible now and hope is alive. However, sadly, complete cure for some of the health problems (terminal illnesses) are not yet possible.
What is a Terminal Illness?
Terminal illness is a life threatening health condition when absolute recovery from any disease is not possible. This means the patient will not be able to survive for long. Mainly, this refers to progressive diseases (example advanced stages of cancer or neurological disorders etc.). The term progressive disease is used when there is no absolute cure available and patient’s sickness ultimately leads to death despite medical treatment. In such cases, treating doctors’ team provides prognosis and brief the family about life expectancy.
Medical management is always possible for any disease to help the patient to deal with other side-effects such as pain, difficulty in breathing, weakness, etc. Besides palliative care and hospice care, the support provided by the family members and friends plays an important role to enhance quality of patient’s life.
Role of Family and Friends
The anxiety, uncertainty, worries overpowers everyone’s life surrounded by the patient. In our lives, we all have faced similar circumstances, dilemma and what not. Human life is precious and so do our relations. We all long to be healthy to celebrate this life to the fullest with our dear ones and the same emotions run through the world.
Here, I am not mentioning the technical part, but emotional aspects and different ways to handle with the situation from the perspective of the family, friends, and community.
- Enjoying quality time together can be the best gift and one of the foundation pillars in any relationship. It is important to understand that life’s daily routine work and professional life will go on. But the need of the hour is to spend quality time with the terminally ill person. Sharing about cheerful memories of past and also how tough times were tackled together can instill the courage and harmony to deal with the emotional trauma.
- When a person encounters terminal illness; it is not just the disease itself which brings havoc, but also psychological disorders with anxiety, fear, uncertainty takes a toll on the whole family’s mental well-being. A patient feels the dire need for other’s overall support to cope up with his/her sickness.
Clinical Management Assistance
- It is worthwhile that one or two family members should be always in touch with the treating doctor and discuss the patient’s health status periodically along with timely management of medicine intake or therapy, if any.
- It is time to adapt a healthy lifestyle, such as good food habits, exercise, correct breathing technique, required proper & timely sleep, etc. These changes have to be accepted by all the family members to encourage and support the patient.
Last but not the least; life is what we make it. Having a peaceful, stress-free environment at home also gives a sense of security and support to the patient. Good understanding, willingness to extend all possible help can bring a lot of positive changes in the patient’s life and make it easier for the entire family to go through days of struggle.
“You really can change the world if you care enough”. (Marian Wright Edelman)