What is Comfort Care?

Death in a family is tough. And sometimes, knowing someone who is terminally ill is even tougher, especially when you think that there is nothing you can really do for him/her. If you have someone dear to you, like a family member, suffering from a disease with no exact cure, then your doctors might have mentioned to you comfort care. But what is comfort care?

Comfort care, as its name states, is caring for the patient, making sure that he/she is as comfortable as possible. It is a medical care focused only on relieving the symptoms and optimizing the comfort of the patient. It is not administered to treat or cure a patient of his/her disease, nor is it done to prolong the patient’s life. The aim of comfort care is make the patient as comfortable as possible on the patient’s remaining days.

Comfort care can be administered at the patient’s own home. The patient or his/her relatives may also opt to place the patient under hospital care or in nursing homes. The place does not matter as long as it is what the patient wants or the best for the patient. This is why in emergency cases, it is important to have a Comfort Care/Do Not Resuscitate (CC/DNR) Verification Form. EMTs should know whether or the patient must be revived or not and what treatments must be administered.

If something happens to the patient under comfort care, he/she will not be resuscitated. The medications to be provided for a patient under comfort care may depend on what the family chooses or what the patient has requested. Mostly only pain relievers and other basic necessities are given to patients under comfort care just to ease their symptoms like pain, agitation, poor appetite, anxiety, boredom, and loneliness.

There are many various diseases that affect humans. And there are still quite a number of illnesses and conditions that have no specific cure and have very small chances of recovery. The best option you have for these conditions may be comfort care. Choosing whether or not to have a family member or a relative under comfort care can be tough. You have to decide what is best for your loved one, especially if the loved one cannot or can no longer decide on his/her own. And if you are the patient it is your responsibility to tell your physician and your family what you prefer, so that your will is followed properly. But choosing comfort care does not mean choosing doing nothing. When you choose to provide someone with comfort care, you choose to make that person live easily and comfortably even if only for a short time.

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