Whether you have a loved one in need of end-of-life care or you are managing an end-of-life case, palliative care comes in various forms. The four main types of care services for end-of-life support are:
- Palliative care in the hospital
- Palliative home care
- Day care at a hospice
- Residential palliative nursing in a care home
All these forms of care offer pain and symptom management as well as emotional support for the individual. There are some substantial differences between the environments, however.
What is end of life care?
End-of-life care is support for individuals who are in the final months or years of their life. It aims to help people live as comfortable as possible until death and to enable them to die with dignity.
Providers of this type of care should accommodate the individual’s wishes and preferences as a care plan is formed. They should also offer support to family, carers and others close to the individual.
Palliative care in hospital
This is usually for short-term palliative care, delivered by specialist teams or a single nurse depending on the needs of the individual. In hospital, the palliative care teams monitor discharge plans and make arrangements for transfer to receive end-of-life care in a hospice, at home or in a care home.
End of life care at home
Home end-of-life care enables the individual to receive palliative care in the comfort of their own home. Specially-trained carers will temporarily move into the person’s home to provide round-the-clock support.
Arrangements can also be made for a palliative carer to make home visits throughout the day and night. These provide breaks for family members and other carers and offer specialist services like personal or continence care. Rosemont Care offers a range of end of life care services at home.
Day care at a hospice
Hospices are specialist care facilities offering palliative nursing and rehabilitation. They are not typically designed for patients to reside there permanently – they offer care for the day before the individual returns home.
Palliative care in a care home
For individuals who already reside in a care home, it can be more comfortable to remain there for end-of-life care than to be moved somewhere else (like a hospital ward). The environment is generally considered to be calmer and more conducive to receiving the necessary medical support for end of life.
Not all care homes are equipped to provide palliative care, however. It requires specially-trained staff, so be sure to check whether a care home is able to offer this type of support when the time comes.
The type of end-of-life support a person receives is an important decision. Their preferences and wishes should always be the primary concern, so let them tell you what they want.