Inamdar Hospital

Palliative & Geriatric Care

palliative and geriatric care

What is Palliative Care

For most people, ‘Palliative’ isn’t an everyday word. This contributes to confusion about palliative care which is often mistakenly associated just with hospice and end-of-life care. While these are certainly part of it, palliative care also covers care and support given to the patient and their family from the time of diagnosis. Much of palliative care is about maintaining and improving the QoL (Quality of Life) of patients throughout the course of any life limiting illness. With effective management of physical pain, symptoms and the right psychological support; people with such illnesses can live full and rich lives for far longer than they otherwise would. That’s why palliative care is so remarkable.

It may also be called comfort or supportive care. Palliative doctors team up with your regular doctors to focus on symptoms like pain, trouble breathing and stress. You can receive palliative care at any stage in your disease and continue to get treatments to cure it. Palliative medicine is a whole-person care that gives you an extra layer of support so you and your family can live better.

What is Geriatric Care?

Geriatric care is the medical specialty focused on the health and well-being of older adults. Geriatricians have expertise in the unique needs of this population, which can include:

  • Chronic disease management: Many older adults live with multiple health conditions, and geriatricians are skilled in managing these conditions effectively.
  • Functional ability: As we age, our ability to perform daily activities can decline. Geriatricians can assess functional ability and recommend interventions to help older adults maintain their independence for as long as possible.
  • Mental health: Mental health is an important aspect of overall health at any age, and geriatric care incorporates addressing mental health concerns in older adults.

How Do Geriatric and Palliative Care Work Together?

Geriatric palliative care (GPC) is a collaborative approach that combines the expertise of both geriatrics and palliative care. This comprehensive approach is especially beneficial for older adults with serious illnesses because it addresses their unique needs.

Who Needs Palliative Care

In addition to improving quality of life and helping with symptoms, palliative care can also be helpful to any older person having a lot of general discomfort and disability very late in life. It can be provided along with curative treatment. Our palliative care team is a multidisciplinary team that works with the patient, family and the patient’s other doctors to provide medical, social, emotional and practical support. The team is made of palliative care doctors, nurses, social workers, psychologists etc who work towards providing you and your loved ones treatment options to receive a better Quality of Life at any stage of illness.

Here are Some of the Ways Geriatric Palliative Care Can Help

  • Symptom management: GPC specialists can effectively manage pain and other symptoms that can be especially challenging for older adults.
  • Treatment decisions: GPC teams can help navigate complex treatment decisions, considering the patient’s overall health, wishes, and values.
  • Psychosocial and spiritual support: GPC addresses the emotional, social, and spiritual needs of both the patient and their family.
  • Advance care planning: GPC teams can guide patients and families in discussing and documenting their wishes for future care.

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FAQ'S

What is the basic knowledge of cardiology?

Cardiology is the medical specialty that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases related to the heart and blood vessels. Basic knowledge of cardiology includes understanding the anatomy and function of the heart, the various cardiovascular diseases, risk factors for heart disease, diagnostic techniques such as electrocardiograms (ECGs) and echocardiograms, treatment options including medications, interventions, and surgeries, and preventive measures to maintain heart health.

What are some good questions to ask a cardiologist?
  • What lifestyle changes can I make to improve my heart health?
  • What are the risk factors for heart disease, and how can I manage them?
  • What symptoms should I be aware of that might indicate a heart problem?
  • What diagnostic tests might be necessary to assess my heart health?
  • What are the treatment options available for my specific condition?
  • Are there any potential side effects or risks associated with the prescribed medications?
  • How often should I have follow-up appointments to monitor my heart health?
  • Are there any specific dietary recommendations I should follow?
  • Can you provide information on cardiac rehabilitation programs?
  • What steps can I take to prevent future heart problems?
What Type of Cardiologist Should You See for Specialized Heart Care?
  1. The type of cardiologist you should see for specialized heart care depends on your specific condition. Here are a few examples:
  • Interventional Cardiologist: Specializes in performing procedures such as angioplasty, stenting, and catheter-based treatments for coronary artery disease and other structural heart problems.
  • Electrophysiologist: Focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of heart rhythm disorders (arrhythmias) using techniques like electrophysiology studies and cardiac ablation.
  • Heart Failure/Cardiomyopathy Specialist: Specializes in managing heart failure and cardiomyopathy, including the use of advanced therapies like implantable devices or heart transplantation.
  • Adult Congenital Heart Disease Specialist: Deals with the diagnosis and treatment of heart conditions that were present since birth but persist into adulthood.
  • Cardiovascular Surgeon: Performs surgical procedures on the heart and blood vessels, such as coronary artery bypass grafting, heart valve repair or replacement, and heart transplantation.
What are the different types of heart disease?
  1. Coronary artery disease (CAD): This is the most common type of heart disease and occurs when the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart, become narrow or blocked due to a buildup of plaque.
  2. Heart failure: This refers to a condition where the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. It can result from various underlying causes such as CAD, high blood pressure, or heart valve disease.
  3. Arrhythmias: These are abnormal heart rhythms that can occur due to electrical disturbances in the heart. They can cause the heart to beat too fast, too slow, or irregularly.
  4. Heart valve disease: This condition occurs when one or more of the heart valves do not function properly. It can involve valve stenosis (narrowing) or valve regurgitation (leakage).
  5. Cardiomyopathy: This refers to diseases of the heart muscle, where the muscle becomes thick, rigid, or weak, affecting the heart’s ability to pump effectively.
  6. Congenital heart disease: This is a type of heart disease that is present at birth. It involves structural defects in the heart that affect its normal function.
  7. Pericardial disease: This involves inflammation or abnormalities of the pericardium, the sac-like membrane surrounding the heart.
What are the common symptoms of heart disease?
  1. Chest pain or discomfort (angina): This is a common symptom of coronary artery disease. It may feel like pressure, tightness, or a squeezing sensation in the chest.
  2. Shortness of breath: Difficulty breathing or feeling breathless, especially with exertion or when lying flat, can be a sign of heart disease.
  3. Fatigue: Feeling excessively tired or lacking energy, even with minimal physical activity, may be a symptom of heart disease.
  4. Heart palpitations: Sensations of a rapid, fluttering, or pounding heartbeat may occur with certain heart conditions.
  5. Dizziness or fainting: Feeling lightheaded, dizzy, or actually fainting can be a result of inadequate blood flow to the brain due to heart problems.
  6. Swelling: Fluid retention can cause swelling in the legs, ankles, feet, or abdomen.
  7. Rapid weight gain: Sudden and unexplained weight gain may be a sign of fluid buildup related to heart failure.

It is important to note that these symptoms can also be caused by other conditions, and some individuals with heart disease may not experience any symptoms until a more advanced stage. If you are experiencing any concerning symptoms, it is recommended to consult a healthcare professional for a proper evaluation.

We Care For Our Patients

Dr. Prince John

Palliative Care Experts