Palliative Care – The Kerala Model

Author is the founder of Arike palliative care model in the state of Kerala.

Every year world hospice and palliative care day is celebrated on 12th of October . World Hospice and Palliative Care Alliance. This years theme is My care My right. According to their estimate there is around 78% of people are in need of care and nearly 20 million die each year from unnecessary pain and distress. This may increase as the world population is aging.

What does palliative care do?

Palliative care address pain and disease related problems in more humanistic manner. It is a preventive and curative approach. There is a wide perception that, palliative care is only for terminally ill patients who are do not have any creative options left. This is not true. The social, spiritual and psychological aspects should also be addressed. It focus to provide the best quality of life till the last moments of his or her life.

palliative care

Kerala model of care

Palliative mode of approach is still in its infancy in many places. Palliative care should be made mandatory as most of the today’s illness are having a chronic phase.  An 80-country “Quality of Death” study conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit finds that India ranks at 67th. This shows that lot of work to be done to make quality death to everyone. Even in this backlog, there is one place which stand apart, Kerala. The beautiful palliative care program of the state is accepted globally as “the Kerala model of care”.

In, Kerala palliative care is provided through a home-based care. A palliative care team lead by a palliative care nurse, who is an expert in providing palliative care and volunteer who will primary look into all the non-clinical aspects of care. Whereas in western societies hospice model of care is preferred. Which is an institutionalized setting.

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