On Monday, we gave you a general overview of what end-of-life care entails, as well as a guideline for helping you decide when end-of-life care may be necessary.
As we mentioned, talking about end-of-life care can be a rather difficult conversation for anyone to have, but it’s important to remember that end-of-life care is meant to provide physical, mental, and emotional comfort, as well as social support, to a loved-one living with and dying of advanced illness.
So today, we are going to discuss what can (and needs to) be done in order to plan for appropriate end-of-life care.
Patient and Caregiver Needs
According to Helpguide.org, there are at least four areas that should be considered when planning for appropriate end-of-life care.
Those include the following:
- Practical care and assistance. As you transition towards end-of-life care, it may be necessary to provide your loved one with assistance for everyday activities, such as bathing, feeding, going to the bathroom, and getting dressed. Along with your own efforts, extra support can be provided by personal care assistants, a hospice team, or physician-ordered nursing services.
- Comfort and dignity. Aside from ensuring your loved one is cared for physically, end-of-life care patients should feel at ease mentally, in order to prevent feelings of loneliness and fear of dying. Ensuring your loved one that they have the support of their family and those around them is vital to maintaining a comfortable journey.
- Respite Care. Although you may not want to leave the side of your loved one, having a moment to recollect your thoughts can ease the intensity of end-of-life care. Respite care can help provide you comfort through a brief inpatient stay in a hospice facility or having a hospice volunteer care for your loved one for a few hours.
- Grief support. Another important aspect of end-of-life care is preparing you and your family for the coming loss of a loved one. Consider consulting bereavement specialists or spiritual advisors before your loved oneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s death in order to help ease the transition.
Home Care or Inpatient Care?
When assessing end-of-life care, a patient and their family can have the option of home care or inpatient care.
Home care. Your loved one may prefer to be as close as possible to their family as they go through end-of-life care. Should they choose to have end-of-life care administered in their home or a family members home, you or a loved one can assume the role of caregiver or enlist the help of hospice care professionals.
Inpatient care. Another option is inpatient care. Inpatient facilities can provide round-the-clock medical support as well as palliative and hospice care.
Regardless of your choice, the main goal of end-of-life care should be provide your loved one with the most comfortable environment possible. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at anytime. And don’t forget to check back on Friday to see the our post on making final decisions for end-of-life care.
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