Goals of Care: Palliative during COVID-19

As underlying conditions progress, an individual’s goal of care can often become less disease-specific and more palliative. Especially now during our pandemic, providing palliative care can be more difficult than usual. Palliative care is a multidisciplinary care approach to life-limiting illnesses. This compassionate care method focuses on providing relief from symptoms, pain, physical and mental stress. The palliative care team and primary caregiver (doctor) establishes goals of care with the family and the patient to extend and enhance their quality of life. The palliative care team must take COVID19 into consideration, and incorporate various COVID-19 protocols into their goals of care. This palliative care team is made up of nurses, doctors, pharmacists, therapists, etc. Palliative care teams can differ based on each patient’s individual care needs and requirements. Goals of care can also vary for each individual and can vary based on their health condition. However, there are some key goals that are set for every patient which include:

  1. Improve the quality of life

  2. Relieve pain and symptoms through medications, and therapies prescribed by the primary caregiver

  3. Support the patient with their religious or spiritual needs.

  4. Assist and coordinate daily care tasks.

These goals are a basic guideline for all patients of palliative care. The palliative care team can also provide information, and provide extra support beyond the scope of the goals of care. If an individual progresses to palliative, a loved one may require placement back into their homes to receive end-of-life care. There are many factors to consider if you plan to move a loved one from a care setting during COVID-19. You can find more information about this here

The palliative team is essentially your support unit throughout the care process. In order to gain a better understanding of what your loved one’s goals of care may include, please consult with your health practitioner or a member of the Aspen Care staff at 403-990-3837.

For more information, please visit: Palliative Care Alberta Health Services

For a detailed at-home palliative checklist during COVID-19, please download the list here.

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