A rapidly aging country demands more palliative care

“The myth persists that it’s a binary choice, that you either choose full treatment or palliative care. You can’t have both simultaneously,” she said. “And in reality, they can be offered simultaneously. So, an oncologist is treating someone’s cancer. The palliative care clinician is helping manage their symptoms, their pain. … Both can work together.”

“Palliative care, at its core, is asking the person who’s living with a serious illness, ‘What matters to you? What gives you joy? What are your hopes? What do you understand about the disease?,’ and then coming up with a very patient-centered plan,” Wiencek said. And that plan is multidisciplinary. It can involve nurses, physicians, music therapists, physical therapists, chaplains and social workers.

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