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Finding a trusted palliative carer and end of life carer

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Palliative Care And End of Life Care

What is End of Life Care?

There are few certainties in life; sadly, death is one. For a person living with a terminal diagnosis for a chronic condition, or incurable illness, end of life and palliative care can help them approach death with dignity and comfort. It is also referred to as hospice care.

What is End of Life Care?

There are few certainties in life; sadly, death is one. For a person living with a terminal diagnosis for a chronic condition, or incurable illness, end of life and palliative care can help them approach death with dignity and comfort. It is also referred to as hospice care.

The difference between end of life and palliative care can be confusing.

End of life care is for people in the last few months of life. Many receive hospice care when they have exhausted all life-saving treatments and have been discharged from hospital.

The aim of end of life care is to:

  • Improve quality of life for terminal patients
  • Provide respite for caregivers
  • Manage pain and associated symptoms
  • Assist with spiritual and pastoral care
  • Help families prepare for the end of life

What is Palliative care?

Palliative care is for people who have an incurable illness, complex medical conditions or are living with multiple diagnoses. It does not require a terminal diagnosis. Many people receive palliative care earlier in their illness to manage pain and other difficult symptoms. It is sometimes referred to as ‘supportive care’.

The aim of palliative care is to:

  • Improve quality of life
  • Provide dignity and comfort
  • Manage pain
  • Assess needs holistically, caring for the ‘whole’ person

How can a palliative/ end of life carer help?

Domestic help with eating, dressing and bathing

Engaging in palliative care is to make a positive choice to increase your comfort and independence. A live-in carer brings the practical help needed to enable you to stay at home. Live in care is less disruptive, giving you freedom from hospital routines and choices in how you live your life.

Respite care for family and friends

Caring for someone with a life-limiting illness such as advanced cancer, motor neuron disease or progressive dementia, can be exhausting both physically and emotionally. A palliative carer can bring respite care to family members who need their own time to heal and rest.

Organise medications and treatment plans

A palliative carer can be a wonderful addition for anyone who needs extra help and comfort with their complex medical conditions. Managing medications, medical equipment and treatment plans can be confusing for people needing palliative care, and a carer can bring clarity with this.

Monitoring through the evening and overnight

Complex medical needs often need over-night care, so any changes can be quickly responded to, and family members notified. This is a comfort for both the person in need of care, and family members who cannot be present during the evening and through the night.

Facilitate access to alternative therapies

Living with a terminal, or complex, illness needs a holistic approach to care. You may consider alternative therapies, including spiritual and emotional support, alongside your practical care needs. Every day counts, and a palliative carer can help you explore options for therapy you feel are beneficial.

Find a carer

If you are living alongside a loved one with complex care needs, make every day matter. Curam can ease the burden of palliative care, giving you the control to find a carer who suits your specific needs. Find a carer you like, who is a regular, familiar addition to your palliative care plan.

Who else can support me with palliative/ end of life care?

PALLIATIVE CARE TEAMS

As an incurable illness develops a person’s associated medicines may increase and mobility and independence may decline. This is where a specialist palliative care team can help. They include:

  • Your GP
  • Community nurses
  • Counsellors
  • Doctors trained in palliative medicine
  • Specialist occupational therapists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Spiritual leaders (if appropriate)

This team will often work alongside your own GP or community nurses to co-ordinate the right care. A palliative care team will assess medications, treatments and conditions to determine dosages are appropriate and offer guidance about any new treatments and therapies.

HOSPICE CARE HOME

If you are battling a terminal disease or complex disease, then hospice care homes have probably crossed your mind.

Hospice residential care provide a compassionate, dignified and comfortable way for you to live your final few months. Care plans encompass pain management and sleep control to ensure death is met with dignity and peace.

They also provide respite and pastoral care for family and friends who are coming to terms with the loss of their loved one.

Where can I find more information?

INFORMATION AND ADVICE

MARIE CURIE – care and support through terminal illness.

NHS   – end of life care.

Royal College of Nursing – end of life care.

Hospice UK – what to expect in the final days of life.

Alzheimers UK – end of life for dementia patients

Motor Neurone Disease Association

MS Society

Parkinson’s UK

LOCAL SERVICES

Macmillian Cancer Support – support groups for cancer patients

PEER SUPPORT

Carers UK – support and resources for carers.

Dying Matters – raising awareness of death and dying