End of life care includes palliative care. If you have an illness that cannot be cured, palliative care makes you as comfortable as possible by managing your pain and other distressing symptoms. It also involves psychological, social and spiritual support for you and your family. This is called a holistic approach because it deals with you as a “whole” person, not just your illness or symptoms. Unlike curative treatments that aim to cure the disease, palliative care focuses on symptom management, pain relief, and enhancing the overall quality of life. Our article on “what is palliative care” may be helpful.
Many healthcare professionals initiate and provide palliative care as part of their jobs, such as the care you receive from your GP or community nurses. However, some people need additional specialist palliative care. This may be provided by consultants trained in palliative medicine, specialist palliative care nurses, or specialist occupational therapists or physiotherapists.
Palliative care teams encompasses a wide range of healthcare professionals who work to provide holistic support and can coordinate the care of people with an incurable illness. As specialists, they also advise other professionals involved in the patient’s palliative care plan.
There are four main options available to people looking for end of life care:
Palliative care in hospitals is often delivered over a short-term period, by specialist care teams or a single nurse and is usually for patients who require more intensive medical attention. Palliative care teams in hospitals often work on symptom management as part of the patient’s care.
Palliative care teams in hospitals will monitor discharge plans and arrange for individuals to be transferred to receive palliative care in hospices, care homes, or in their own homes on top of assisting patients and their families in making difficult decisions about treatment options and advanced care planning.
If your loved one is already a resident at a care home, remaining there to receive an end of life care may be a more comfortable option, rather than having to move to a hospital ward. However, it is important to note that not all care homes can deliver palliative care.
Care home will include nurses, doctors, social workers who work together to meet the unique needs and preferences of each patient. This type of palliative care also aims to alleviate the burden on family caregivers, allowing them to focus on spending quality time with their loved ones.
Hospices are similar to residential care homes in some ways. They deliver palliative nursing and rehabilitation, but you or your loved one doesn’t have to reside there permanently – they can attend for the day then return home. Day care would be suitable for patients who do not require 24/7 residential care but can benefit from additional support and services during the day.
Day care can also act as respire for family caregivers, giving them a break while know that their loved ones are receiving expert care in a support environment.
Palliative homecare enables you or your loved one to remain in their own home to receive end-of-life care. This type of care is highly personalized, focusing on the individual’s needs, preferences, and goals. Private palliative homecare allows patients to remain in familiar surroundings and maintain a sense of independence. It also fosters strong connections between patients, their families, and the care team, enabling open communication and shared decision-making.
This approach is particularly beneficial for patients who prefer to be with their loved ones and in their own homes during their end-of-life journey.
At Cavendish Homecare we are experts in providing palliative homecare for individuals with terminal illnesses who want to remain in their own homes. We work to support the patients and their families with sensitive and comforting palliative care in London.