Managing Pain & Symptoms – Hospice Care Of Las Vegas, Nevada
Our goal at CompassionCare Hospice is to allow you time with your family and loved ones, free from the distractions and hardships associated with your disease or illness.
Hospice is centered on palliative care, which is the management of pain and symptoms, so that every moment can be as comfortable and rewarding as possible. Hospice allows you to gather all the information needed to make the best choices about your treatment. Our services are designed to relieve pain and suffering through means of early identification, planning, assessment and treatment.
In many cases, our hospice physicians may begin to treat pain with “over the counter” analgesic medications, which provide pain relief. However, as a terminal disease continues to progress along it’s natural course, pain levels may increase to the point where these over the counter medications no longer help. Then, our physician may prescribe other medications with a stronger level of pain relief. Narcotic medications may be used in combination with other medications to relieve pain in the management of hospice patients. This is called “adjuvant therapy”, and often the combination of typical pain medications (such as morphine) combined with atypical medications (such as antidepressants or steroids), can provide greater levels of pain relief, than with narcotic medications alone.
It is important for the patient to receive the appropriate medication for his or her condition. There are different types of pain (such as bone pain or nerve pain) and they respond differently to medications. At CompassionCare Hospice, our nurses work very closely with our physicians in treating the symptoms, including pain, which may arise throughout the course of a life-limiting illness. Our goal is to provide the highest level of comfort, and promote the best quality of life, based on the patients’ needs, wishes and desires.
A common fear and misconception surrounding hospice pain management and medications is a fear about “becoming addicted” to the medications used. Many patients or family members also have strong beliefs about avoiding “drugs”. However, the use of some narcotic medications for pain relief for hospice patients is totally appropriate, and may be an invited relief from the severe pain which some patients experience. CompassionCare Hospice’s team of professionals approach this area with compassion and respect for each individuals preferences. Patients’ and their families work closely with the hospice team to create a unique plan of care, including medications used for pain management. Our goal is to manage symptoms, including pain, so our patients are comfortable and can have the highest quality of life, doing the things they most enjoy. This is a vital part of end-of-life care.
For more information on this topic or to speak with a CompassionCare Hospice professional, call us at (702) 636-0200