Palliative Care - General Information
Palliative Care commences at the initial stages of a chronic disease and aims at improving the quality of life of patients, by offering not only pain relief, but also relief from other symptoms. These symptoms may include difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, weight loss, insomnia, anxiety and depression.
The Department applies a holistic approach and focuses on the losses endured by the chronic sufferer on a physical, social, emotional and mental level.
The therapeutic interventions may include medications for chronic sufferers exhibiting symptoms. The non-pharmaceutical alternatives are mainly nursing interventions, psychological support and alternative/adjuvant therapy.
The Department’s multidisciplinary team consists of medical specialists, nurses and psychologists. Palliative Care requires a multidisciplinary team since it not only aims at medical interventions, but also focuses on a people-centered approach, with accompanying psychological support. Patients and their families are at the core of the team, while bereavement counseling may be offered to the relatives for up to a year after the patient’s passing.
It is addressed to:
- Patients with malignant diseases
- Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic renal failure, neurological conditions (multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, dementia), as well as geriatric patients
- Patients with chronic rheumatologic/collagen diseases, severe orthopedic deformities, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, and symptomatic HIV/AIDS
- Patients suffering from any type of chronic pain (e.g. chronic neuropathic pain, such as postherpetic neuralgia or chronic low back pain)
The services offered focus on:
- Offering support and managing the symptoms throughout the stages of the disease
- Evaluating, re-evaluating and assessing the pain, as well as the physical, emotional and other symptoms, using suitable weighted scales
- Preventing and treating the symptoms, in cooperation with the Pain Medicine Clinic, as well as all the attending physicians
- Filling out safe and reliable prescriptions for all types of analgesics, so that all patients may have access to opioid pharmaceuticals, as well as the necessary complementary medications. These may include anticonvulsants, antidepressants and corticosteroids.
- Running a 24-hour helpline for emergency assistance and constant support
- For offering guidelines and practical advice on the disease
- For diagnosing and managing mental disorders
- For providing support throughout the illness
- For offering encouragement so patients may become active again, start socializing, become creative and bounce back
- For providing support to the family or the caregivers while their loved one is sick and, in case of their passing, helping them manage their feelings during their time of bereavement
Medical Infrastructure & Technology
- The Palliative Care Clinic is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
- In-hospital assistance is offered during short and long hospitalizations, for difficult symptoms, intravenous administration of medications and emergency palliative care situations.
Psychological Support / General Information
Physical and mental health are inexorably interwoven, complementing and affecting each other. A physical disease, be it chronic or not, often affects a patient’s mental health. Similarly, psychological strain may affect one’s physical health and cause problems. When physical conditions coexist with mental disorders, especially depression, this may impact the progression and prognosis of a disease in various manners.
The Athens Euroclinic Psychological Support Department aims at a biopsychosocial and holistic approach towards patients. This requires multifaceted understanding of the disease so that the patient may receive suitable medical and psychosocial assistance, as well as people-centered care.
The services offered include:
- Short-term daily counseling, psychotherapy and palliative care to hospitalized patients
- Counseling and palliative care for the patient’s family
- Psychometric tests that evaluate a patient’s emotional condition, memory and cognitive ability
- Cognitive empowerment exercises for multiple-trauma patients and patients in the early stages of dementia
- Group or individual empowerment and psychological support for the staff, so that they may offer the best possible care to patients and avoid burnout
Psychological Support and Counseling for Chronic Diseases
The Department specializes in cancer, diabetes and obesity and offers the following services:
- Daily sessions and support for the patient, from the moment they are notified of the disease and throughout treatment.
- Quality of life, as well as quality care during the disease and the treatment constitute a right and a choice.
- Psychoeducation so that patients may be fully briefed in their condition. The aim is to educate patients and their immediate environment so that they may prepare for and manage the new reality they are faced with. Through sessions with experts, they learn to care for themselves and experience feelings of joy, by changing their way of thinking and their approach to life.
Psychological Support and Counseling for Relatives/Family and Caregivers
Clinical experience as well as the relevant literature have shown that the relatives and loved ones of patients also suffer a huge mental burden. Due to the situation they are faced with, they believe they cannot afford to feel sad for their loved ones because they must demonstrate strength and a positive outlook. These people should also be given the opportunity to talk, learn of ways to handle the patient and unload their burden.