Palliative Care

Palliative Care in Nepal


Imagine you’re playing your favorite game, and suddenly you feel really sick. Your body hurts, and you’re too tired to even enjoy playing anymore. That’s when a special kind of care called “palliative care” comes in to help you feel better, even when you’re really sick.

What is Palliative Care?

Palliative care is like having a team of superheroes who want to make you feel as comfortable and happy as possible when you’re sick. It focuses on improving your quality of life by managing pain, relieving symptoms, and supporting you and your family emotionally.

Why is Palliative Care Important?

  1. Improves Quality of Life: Palliative care focuses on enhancing the quality of life for patients by managing symptoms and addressing their emotional and spiritual needs.
  2. Supports Families: Serious illness affects not only the patient but also their loved ones. Palliative care provides support and guidance to families, helping them cope with the challenges they face.
  3. Reduces Hospitalizations: Studies have shown that palliative care can reduce hospitalizations and emergency room visits among patients with serious illnesses. This not only improves quality of life but also reduces healthcare costs.

Who Needs This Care?

  1. People with Serious Illnesses: Anyone diagnosed with a serious illness such as cancer, heart disease, lung disease, or neurological disorders may benefit from palliative care. It helps manage symptoms and improve overall well-being.
  2. Patients Undergoing Treatment: Palliative care can be beneficial for patients undergoing treatments like chemotherapy or radiation therapy. It helps manage treatment side effects and improves quality of life during this challenging time.
  3. Children with Serious Illnesses: Even children can benefit from palliative care if they have a serious illness. It helps manage their symptoms and provides support to both the child and their family.
  4. Patients at Any Stage of Illness: Palliative care is not just for patients in the advanced stages of illness. It can be provided at any stage of illness, from diagnosis through treatment and beyond.

How Does Palliative Care Help?

  • Pain Relief: Palliative care helps to ease any pain you might be feeling. They use special medicines or therapies to make you feel more comfortable.
  • Comfort and Support: Sometimes, being sick can make us feel really sad or scared. Palliative care teams are there to support us emotionally and make us feel safe and loved.
  • Helping Families: Palliative care isn’t just for the person who’s sick. It’s also for their families. The team helps families understand what’s happening and gives them the support they need too.

When Do You Start Palliative Care?

Early Integration: One of the most important things to understand about palliative care is that it can be integrated early in the course of an illness. This means that as soon as a person is diagnosed with a serious illness, palliative care can begin alongside treatments aimed at curing the disease. By integrating palliative care early on, patients can benefit from better symptom management, improved quality of life, and enhanced emotional support throughout their illness journey.

Symptom Management: If a person is experiencing symptoms such as pain, nausea, fatigue, or shortness of breath that are not well-controlled despite treatment, it may be a sign that palliative care could be beneficial. Palliative care specialists are trained to address these symptoms and provide personalized treatment plans to help manage them effectively, allowing patients to focus on living as comfortably as possible.

Complex Illnesses: Palliative care is particularly valuable for individuals living with complex illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease. These conditions often involve a range of physical, emotional, and practical challenges that can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. Palliative care teams are equipped to address these challenges comprehensively, providing holistic support tailored to the individual needs of each patient and their family.

Signs It Might Be Time

Recognizing when it might be time to start palliative care is essential for ensuring that patients receive the support they need when they need it most. Some signs that palliative care may be beneficial include:

  • Uncontrolled symptoms despite treatment
  • Decline in functional ability, such as difficulty with activities of daily living
  • Emotional distress or difficulty coping with the impact of the illness on daily life
  • Frequent hospitalizations or emergency room visits related to the illness
  • Difficulty managing multiple medications or treatment regimens

Where Do You Get Palliative Care?

You can receive palliative care in hospitals like KCCRC, at home, or even in special places called hospices. The important thing is that wherever you are, the palliative care team will come to you to make sure you’re getting the help you need.


Palliative care is like having a team of superheroes by your side, making sure you’re as comfortable and happy as possible, even when you’re really sick. It’s not just about medicine; it’s about caring for your heart and soul too. So, if you or someone you love is facing a serious illness, remember that palliative care is there to help make life better.