Fact Number 6: Early Referral to palliative care means living longer with better quality of life.
When we think about the end of our lives it is safe to say the majority of us want to die at home and surrounded by family.
All the evidence suggests that the best way to achieve this is accessing palliative care. There is also a growing body of research for getting palliative care early! That’s right at the diagnosis of cancer or another life threatening illness.
Why you ask?
Well, in 2010 people diagnosed with lung cancer were given either standard treatment (chemotherapy for exmaple) or this standard treatment plus Palliative Care. After three years those who participated in palliative care from at the beginning lived longer and reported a better quality of life than those who delayed it.
This study confirmed what many in palliative care already knew - that palliative care is one of the best non- invasive ways in which to live out your final years.
The choice to adopt a palliative care strategy takes open and frank conversations with medical professionals, family and friends.
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While it may seem scary to think about your own mortality, becoming death literate and building your capacity for end-of-life planning can help create healthier community attitudes about death.