Managing pain and symptoms

Managing Pain and Symptom Relief in Hospice Care

People with serious illnesses often receive specialized medical care called palliative/hospice care. Relief from the illness’s symptoms and stress is the main goal of this kind of care. Regardless of the prognosis, the objective is to enhance both the patient’s quality of life while also making the most of the remaining time with the family.

The Role of Hospice Care in Managing Pain and Symptom Relief

Assess the Pain

The nerves, brain, and spinal cord communicate with each other during the process called the appraisal of pain which tells a person how severe their pain is. Consequently, controlling the symptoms associated with pain depends greatly on their intensity. Depending on the harm done, pain is widely classified into three types: nociceptive, neuropathic, and mixed. For this reason, a thorough understanding of pain evaluation will aid in improving your loved one’s quality of life.

Approaches to Pain Management in Hospice Care

Relief from pain

Any pain treatment plan should aim to lessen discomfort while increasing your loved one’s capacity for engagement in daily life.

Medication-Based Pain Relief

Most pain management is done with medication. The best results from pain medication come from frequent, scheduled use.

Opioids and Their Role in Pain Control

Opioids are substances, either natural or artificial, that attach to receptors in the brain or body to lessen the strength of pain signals that are sent to the brain. Opioid medicines are occasionally recommended by doctors to treat pain. Typical prescribed opioid medications consist of:

  • Morphine
  • Oxycodone
  • Hydrocodone

Managing Side Effects of Pain Medications

Opioids and other painkillers frequently cause nausea, constipation, drowsiness, clouded thinking, sedation, and slowed breathing as adverse effects.

Side effects like this are often manageable. Fluid intake should be increased, dietary fiber intake should be increased (if the patient’s condition allows), and moderate exercise should be done under the guidance of your relative’s doctor or nurse. Most of the time, laxatives or stool softeners can relieve constipation.

Non-Pharmacological Pain Relief

Non-pharmacological pain therapy describes methods for treating pain that don’t involve drugs. Non-pharmacological therapies aim to provide a patient’s sense of control while reducing fear, anguish, and anxiety as well as pain.

Complementary Therapies

The use of complementary therapies coexists with the use of conventional drugs or treatments. These include acupuncture, herbal medicine, massage, reflexology, and relaxation.

People use complementary and alternative medicine because they want to adopt more natural treatments that let them feel in charge of their health and maybe even lessen the side effects of prescription medications.

Psychological Support and Counseling

Through psychological care, patients learn about their condition, available palliative treatment options, and the downsides of each so they can make an educated choice. Additionally, patients learn about their options while receiving emotional support.

Holistic Symptom Relief in Hospice Care

Through this approach, your family member receives care that addresses all aspects of physical and psychological care.

Nausea and Vomiting Management 

The best course of action for patients receiving palliative care is, whenever possible, to eliminate the cause of their nausea. This may entail managing constipation, stopping a certain drug, and avoiding stimuli that trigger their symptoms.

Respiratory Symptom Relief

Simple remedies can help relieve respiratory symptom causes. Exercises in breathing, such as taking long, calm breaths, proper posture, and relaxation training may also be beneficial.

Addressing Digestive Issues 

In hospice care, straightforward treatments may help ease digestive problems like nausea and vomiting. Also trying different strategies like eating smaller, frequent snacks rather than full meals might help.

Anxiety and Depression in Hospice Patients

Patients receiving palliative care might respond positively to antidepressant medications. Clinical depression is typically best treated with a combination of short-term psychotherapy and as needed, antidepressant drugs.

Personalized Care Plans in Abundant Hospice

At Abundant Hospice, our hospice care plan is customized to address the symptoms and social and emotional requirements that may be associated with each distinct condition or sickness, including both clinical treatment and our support services. Contact us to find out more about how we can help your loved one and provide much needed support for him/her and your family.