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Terminal Illness: Distinguishing Between Symptoms and Side Effects

(805) 200-4102

Many older adults and people who are facing serious illnesses will use medication of some kind to treat their illness, manage their symptoms, and address other health issues. With so much affecting their loved one’s health, many family caregivers often question the difference between symptoms and side effects.

Understanding this difference can ensure that your loved one receives the fullest benefits of hospice care as possible.

Understanding Symptoms vs Side Effects

When someone you love is facing a terminal or serious illness, it can often be difficult to tell the difference between the symptoms of an illness or side effects from medication. Family caregivers should ensure that they don’t make any changes to medication by themselves without the consent of a doctor. 

They should always bring their concerns to their loved one’s team. Healthcare professionals should take the concerns of a patient’s family very seriously. They should pay particular attention to changes in the patient’s condition including:

It is important to remember that every patient is different. Depending on the case, an adjustment to medication may be needed. In others, additional education may be needed about end-of-life signs and symptoms to better help family caregivers understand what changes they need to expect in coming days.

Good communication between patients, healthcare providers, and families is absolutely essential when it comes to good care. For patients who have been diagnosed with a serious illness, palliative care benefits include nurse practitioner visits in the patient’s home in order to address side effects to manage symptoms.

For patients who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness, hospice care partners with families to provide spiritual, physical, and emotional care. It is crucial for everyone surrounding the patient to know how to give them everything they need at all times. In addition to caring for the patient, a hospice team is excellent for providing support for the family.

When a family caregiver has questions, they need answers about the symptoms and side effects of medication, the hospice team is able to provide the correct education and information.

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La Bella Vita Hospice, Inc. provides home hospice care for patients in Los Angeles, Arleta, Calabasas, Canoga Park, Burbank, Chatsworth, Encino, Glendale, Glenoaks, Granada HIlls, Hansen Hills, Hidden Hills, La Crescenta, Lake Balboa, Lake View Terrace, MIssion Hills, North Hills, North Hollywood, Northridge, Pacoima, Panorama City, Porter Ranch, Reseda, San Fernando, Shadow Hills, Sherman Oaks, Sun Valley, Sunland, Studio City, Sylmar, Tarzana, Thousand Oaks, Toluca Lake, Toluca Terrace, Tujunga, Valley Glen, Valley Village, Van Nuys, Vergudo, West Hills, West Toluca Lake, Winnetka, Woodland Hills, Ventura County, Antelope Valley, and the San Fernando Valley. © Copyright 2020 - All Rights Reserved.  
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