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Definition of the term "palliative care"

Palliative care is a multidisciplinary approach to specialized medical care for people with life-limiting illnesses. It focuses on providing people with relief from the symptoms, pain, physical stress and mental stress of a serious  illness. The goal of this therapy is to improve  quality of life for the person and their family.  Basically, it helps the patient cope with serious illness or end-of-life realities. When patients choose palliative care, they can begin a process focused on symptoms that can reduce their quality of life such as trouble sleeping, nausea, vomiting, constipation, loss of appetite and can be provided psychological, emotional and spiritual support. The therapy can also tend to the needs of family caregivers. A palliative care team may be composed of physicians, nurses, social workers, massage therapists, pharmacists and chaplains. The team creates a program based not on the patient's prognosis but on the challenges the patient is dealing with such as physical symptoms and psychological areas.
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