Different End-of-Life-Care Options to Explore
Who wants to think about end-of-life-care, whether it is about our own selves or a loved one? However, the simple fact is that end-of-life-care is just another way of looking after the physical and mental health of an individual. It is all about finding the right fit and then achieving your goals with the help of a team. What are these goals? They usually include helping someone with a terminal illness in staying as comfortable as possible in their own space and then when at-home support doesn’t suffice, providing them with a comprehensive care community. But, the nuances can and do vary, depending on the specific situation.
Whether you are looking at end-of-life-care for yourself or a family member, you will probably come across a few terms that you are not familiar with and these can prove to be quite intimidating. You should obviously be familiar with the different options that are available because this can help you in finding the best end-of-life-care for your needs. What are these options? You can check them out below:
The first option that you will come across when you start looking at end-of-life-care solutions is that of hospice, which is aimed at providing general health care and symptom relief in situations where a patient’s doctor believes that they have six months or less to live. Therefore, people who are suffering from a serious and incurable illness, such as terminal cancer, who have stopped treatments for curing the disease or slowing down its progress, are recommended hospice care.
Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean that patients will be kicked out of hospice in case they survive longer than six months. The best thing about hospice is that it can be offered in different settings, such as in a hospital, in a facility like a nursing home, a hospice center, or even a person’s home. No matter where it is provided, it depends on a team of people that comprise of doctors, nurses, spiritual advisors, social workers and trained volunteers. Their job is to provide the patient with emotional, medical and spiritual support and to optimize their comfort.
The team members of the hospice visit the patient regularly for providing care. For instance, a nurse may visit the patient twice a week, along with a medical aide who visits more frequently. They will call in the doctor if they believe the patient needs an adjustment in medication or more medication if symptoms change. Even if someone is not there physically, members of the hospice team are available via phone.
Similar to hospice, it is possible to provide palliative care in a hospital, at home, in a nursing home or in an assisted living facility. Likewise, it is also one of the end-of-life care options that has been developed for helping people who suffer from serious illnesses, such as cancer, heart failure, or Alzheimer’s disease. However, what distinguishes this from hospice is the fact that patients in palliative care may also get treatment for curing their illness or for slowing down its progression, while also getting care for the symptoms they experience. Furthermore, it doesn’t require the patients to have a diagnosis of six months to live or less.
Patients who are provided palliative care can live for months or years. This kind of end-of-life-care depends on a multidisciplinary team that provides social, emotional, medical and practical support by working with the patient, their family members and their doctors. This team can comprise of specialized nurses and doctors, nutritionists, social workers and chaplains. The purpose is to provide comprehensive care that can help in easing the life of a person in numerous ways.
Palliative care can begin for a patient as soon as they are diagnosed with a serious health condition. If they reach a point where their medical team doesn’t think that medical treatments are effective, then they can continue palliative care that focuses on pain relief or move towards hospice.
Board and Care Homes
A lot of people prefer to get end-of-life-care at home, but if their caregiver is no longer able to take care of them at home, then they may need to look for a facility. In this kind of situation, one option that can be explored is board and care homes, which are also known as group homes or residential facilities. These are small and private facilities that provide meals and personal care to around 20 or more residents and have staff on hand 24/7 for helping with the care. However, off-site establishments will usually provide more intensive care, such as medical and nursing attention.
Assisted Living Facilities
These facilities provide people with their own rooms or apartments with shared common areas. There, the people are provided with help with their daily care, which includes housekeeping, medication and meals. There is staff onsite for 24 hours, but they don’t get the same level of care they would receive in a nursing home. However, some people may receive more intensive support, as long as they are willing to pay more for it. Assisted living facilities are also known for providing activities for helping keep people engaged and active, such as recreational and social activities.
As opposed to a typical assisted living facility, nursing homes are known to focus more on medical care, but they also offer personal care services like assisting people with daily activities and providing three meals a day. Nursing homes are also known for offering rehabilitation services, such as physical and speech therapy, along with recreational activities. A lot of people go to nursing homes when making the transition from a hospital stay, but many people live in nursing homes permanently because they require ongoing care.
These are some of the top end-of-life-care options that people can explore, with each being suitable for a different kind of individual. You will be able to find options in each of these categories and should do thorough research in order to choose a suitable option that offers excellent care.