Palliative care – Home can be a choice

All people have the right to die with dignity and have as much control as possible over the circumstances of their death, including being with the people they wish to be present and whenever possible, in the place of their choice.

The imminent death of a loved one is a time of great stress for you and everyone involved. If a loved one wishes to spend their last remaining days at home surrounded by the people they hold dearest to them, the support of your loved ones wishes can be made a little easier by engaging palliative care services.

Palliative care affirms life and treats dying as a normal process, with no intent to hasten or postpone death. The regime of palliative care integrates the physical, psychological, social, emotional and spiritual aspects of care, with coordinated assessment and management tailored to each person’s individual needs.

Palliative care provides support also to the family members and carers to assist them cope during the person’s illness and in their own bereavement.

Who receives Palliative care?

Palliative care is provided to people of all ages who are dying. Palliative care can be provided in the family home, in community-based settings like nursing homes, palliative care units, and in hospitals.

Both physical and emotional dynamics take place during this challenging time of transition. Having lived a life of purpose, a palliative care diagnosis means precious time should be celebrated and spent surrounded with friends and family. The approach to this period of palliative care should be to do everything possible to enable quality time among immediate family and friends.

While palliative care assists a client with their personal care needs, the needs of the client vary widely. These needs can include resources for practical information, closing loose ends financially and emotionally, and having someone to guide you and the family through the process.

Over time the intensity of needs may increase to physical and spiritual needs. While you may directly or indirectly care for a loved one during this time, your needs should not be neglected. The balance of ensuring a safe transition for your loved one and handling your everyday routine can be challenging.

There are options people have – and dying at home with the palliative care services can be a viable option.

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