Restoring Happiness with Palliative Care in Nepal

palliative care in nepal

Restoring Happiness with Palliative Care in Nepal

Do you know what breaks your heart? Seeing your loved one suffer in pain. But life has its plan and we can’t help it. On the bright side, these hard times let you discover the beautiful connection.

But it’s equally painful. And, that’s certainly not fun. So, we try our level best to take care of them. In comes our savior, Palliative care, which has made a big impact on the lives of many people with its life-changing effects.

Not so surprisingly, Palliative Care in Nepal has slowly gathered love for all the right reasons. Palliative Care is a much more comfortable option for individuals or families with a terminal illness. It mainly prioritizes symptom control and support rather than cure or life prolongation.

This is what has established the need for a better understanding and to shed light on the contribution of palliative care specialists.

What is Palliative Care?

The word palliative care comes from ‘’palliate’’, which means to cloak. In other words, it means to mask, to cover up, to migrate.

Simply, Palliative care refers to specialized care provided for a person with active, ongoing, or chronic diseases that require or have no prospect of cure.

It focuses on healing symptoms and strengthening a person’s quality of life. The main focus of palliative care lies in helping individuals with serious diseases feel better. Palliative care also treats emotional, social, and spiritual issues that come along with diseases.

You’re probably wondering that this doesn’t come across as very important. But getting started with palliative care early has been proven to promote well-being and reduce stress and burden among patients as well as families.

Palliative care is dependent on the needs of the patient and not on the patient’s prognosis. This makes it suitable for any age and at any stage of chronic diseases. Palliative care should be under consideration for patients who have been hospitalized or visited the emergency room multiple times over the year.

A Growing Need for Palliative Care in Nepal

There couldn’t have been a better time than now to highlight the importance of palliative care in Nepal. The benefits of palliative care are abundant and Nepal’s medical system couldn’t be an exception.

The whole purpose of palliative care is to aid the healing process and promote the well-being of patients. So, this provides a great opportunity for patients to fully enjoy and live in the moment. Some of the reasons as to why palliative care holds such great relevance in Nepal in these times have been enlisted below:

Improve Standard of Living

Palliative care emphasizes enhancing the quality of life. It provides a great sense of relief for people with signs and pain of severe diseases such as cancer, Congestive Heart Failure(CHF), Chronic Obtrusive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Chronic Liver Disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), dementia and many more.

Relieves Symptom Burden

Nepal has this ideal practice of dealing with pain just so ever. However, that’s not the way to cope. Many diseases bring with them severe pain and require careful consideration. This is where palliative care specialists come into the picture.

Palliative care specialists perform vital functions to ease the transitional journey of patients and families. They assist in easing various symptoms such as pain, depression, anxiety, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite, and many more.

The team will help in performing an everyday task with ease. Hence, the overall quality of life gets better.

Provide Perfect Treatment Option As Per Your Status

Palliative care specialists work hand in hand on your journey with you, your family, and other doctors. They provide you with the utmost support in your hardest times. The palliative care team will cover every aspect of your illness process.

They will have a complete discussion about your symptoms, current treatments, and the possible overall impact brought by the disease on you and your family. Palliative care specialists will develop a plan to prevent and cope with pain.

The palliative care team will craft a specialized plan to improve your overall daily life. This feature makes the benefits of palliative care show its true magic by focusing on individual patients and fulfilling their needs.

Principles of Palliative Care

The concept of palliative care might come across as new in Nepal. However, it doesn’t take away the importance it holds. So, let’s take some time to be fully aware of the principles of palliative care.

Comprehensive Care

One of the main principles of palliative care is to provide care for everyone involved. You’ve heard that right. This means the care will be centered not only around the patient but also the family and carer.

This includes getting them involved throughout the process of care starting with care planning. The motive behind it lies in providing complete care that meets their individual needs and understanding the impact of their health condition on their life.

The result, you may ask. Well, it results in increased satisfaction, improved self-perception, lowered stress, and increased empowerment among patients.

Need-based Care

Unlike other forms of care, there is no single code of rules that works in palliative care for patients. The care will be catered to as per the needs and status of the patient. This means the patient-centered model of care.

This need-based care allows for regular follow up which can be quite helpful for changing needs over time and make services more responsive, coordinated and flexible. This also ensures that people get the right care at the right period.

Choice of the site of care

The core principles of palliative care lie in giving the freedom to select sites of care. The options might range from home to residential and daycare facilities depending on the patient’s conditions and needs. The decision about the patient’s place of care is done depending on the patient, family, and carer's wishes.

This is accompanied by good clinical judgment, safe and practical options.

Evidence-Based and Safety

Safety is another essential principle of palliative care. People receive suitable evidence-based care. They also get to experience effective partnerships among patients, healthcare providers, and organizations.

The commitment to clinical, psychological, and cultural safety also results in no negative experiences for anyone involved.

Integrated and coordinated care

This principle of palliative care focuses on people at the center of care. The integrated approach emphasizes an integrated healthcare system that is easy to use, access, and navigate.

This approach aims to provide a great support system. Further, this principle aims to uplift people from various backgrounds with complex health and social needs.

Stages of Palliative Care

The benefits of palliative care make it come across as a blessing. But for each of these benefits to show its true wonders, acknowledging the condition of the patient is crucial. The various stages require different types of care and treatment. Thus, being aware of various stages of palliative care can help better provide the right treatment and address their needs accordingly.

There are primarily five stages of palliative care. They are:

Stage one

The first stage of palliative care is known by the name of the stable phase. It requires the involvement of all concerned participants. The patient, their family members, and the caregiver will work together to create a palliative care plan. During this stage, the patient’s condition can be handled properly by correct treatments. The plan is made to provide symptoms management and track quality of life as the patient’s condition improves.

Stage two

This is the unstable phase. The patient will experience symptoms that require assistance and support from medical professionals. The patient will go through a series of new problems. This is where the symptoms will show their dominance in their severity. This requires drastic changes to palliative care treatment. The patients, their family members, and loved ones are provided with emotional and spiritual support.

Stage three

This stage is where the symptoms get exacerbated. New and unexpected symptoms or medical problems will also be noticed. This stage is called the deteriorating phase. This stage also brings with it a lot of distress for loved ones and family members. The family members will have difficulty maintaining their daily routines. So, it demands emotional support and counseling.

Stage Four

Stage four consists of arranging inpatient care at a hospice, or hospital, or at home depending on the situation. This stage often demands end-of-life care. The symptoms will start showing their true colors in the worst form in this phase. The patient is usually bed-bound and has problems with swallowing medication. They tend to be disoriented and disinterested in food or drink. Consequently, they need help with daily activities. The major emphasis is put on emotional and spiritual well-being for both patients and their family members.

Stage Five

This stage is also known as the bereaved phase. This stage occurs after the death of the patient. In this phase, family members and loved ones are provided with a planned bereavement plan, which can extend over months.

Where is Palliative Care provided?

Palliative care is a common alternative for patients undergoing treatment. However, patients don't need to be admitted to the hospital. Palliative care is normally provided at:

  • Home
  • Hospital
  • Hospice
  • Residential aged care facility

The place of care is highly dependent on these factors.

  • The severity of the disease and the level of care needed
  • Understanding and support from the person’s family and community
  • Accessibility of person who can provide physical care and support

Palliative Care Vs Hospice Care

The issue of palliative care doesn’t get complete without the mention of hospice care. People often tend to complicate palliative care with hospice care. So, genuinely question might pop palliative care vs hospice care? Which one’s better? What’s the difference?

And honestly, there’s no definitive answer. Why you may ask? Well, these two are quite different terms. To begin with, hospice care is provided to a person with serious diseases, who has no prospect of cure and is approaching the end of life.

The word hospice is taken from the Latin word ‘’hospitium’’, which means hospitality. Hospice care prioritizes the care, comfort, and quality of life of a person with an incurable disease in their last phase of life. Hospice care acknowledges that dying is a natural process and emphasizes the quality of remaining life.

Similar to palliative care, hospice care provides complete care and support for the family. However, in hospice care, the attempt to cure a person’s disease is stopped. Generally, hospice care is provided to individuals who have six months or less to live.

To sum it up, everything under hospice is palliative. But not everything palliative is hospice.


Life, for sure, has its way of surprising us. Sometimes it leaves a big smile on our faces. And on the other times, it simply leaves us speechless and helpless. Whatever the reason is, every individual on the earth should have the opportunity to live in the moment and enjoy every offering of life. After all, that’s the true sense of living, isn’t it?

This is why palliative care is the ultimate medium for individuals with severe illness to enjoy life. The benefits of palliative care have brought a ray of hope for many individuals to fully immerse in the journey of life and appreciate it. Thus, palliative care in Nepal opens the door for people with severe illnesses to receive proper care and quality of life. Arogin care home aspires to assist and support people with various health conditions in their healing process with daycare and residential service.

FAQs on Palliative Care in Nepal

1. What are the 3 principles of Palliative Care?

The benefits of palliative care have shown tremendous impact due to its core principle. The 3 main principles of palliative care are:

  • Comprehensive care
  • Need-based care
  • Choice of the site of care

2. What is done in Palliative Care?

Palliative care is specific medical care that assists patients in their healing and relief from pain and other symptoms of severe disease irrespective of the stage of the disease. Palliative care specialists create a specific plan as per the patient’s status to improve the quality of life for both patients and their families.

3. Why Palliative Care in Nepal is important?

Palliative care in Nepal is important as it provides patients with options for symptom management and improves the quality of life while incorporating curative measures alongside. With the growing progress of the medical system in Nepal, palliative care is a great step to nurture sound health for patients with chronic illnesses.

4. What are the main benefits of palliative care?

The main benefit of palliative care is to provide relief from symptoms of the disease while improving the quality of life for patients, their family members, and loved ones. It also provides pain and symptom control and minimizes mental and physical distress and comfort.

5. What do Palliative Care specialists do?

Palliative care specialists consist of specifically trained doctors, nurses, physicians, and other specialists who work together to provide comfort and improve quality of life. Apart from that, they also clarify your diseases, their treatment plans, and options and overall assist in the journey of making a sound medical decision.