What should you know about end of life care?

End of life care refers to the support for people who are in the last months or years of their life.

It is designed to help you live as well as possible until you die, and to die with dignity. The people providing your care should ask you about your wishes and preferences, and take these into account as they work with you to plan your care. They should also support your family, carers or other people who are important to you.

You have the right to express your wishes about where you would like to receive care and where you want to die. You can receive end of life care at home or in care homeshospices or hospitals, depending on your needs and preference. 

People who are approaching the end of life are entitled to high-quality care, wherever they’re being cared for. Find out what to expect from end of life care.

What can you do to help yourself/someone you care for?

For someone entering end of life care, and for their family, friends and carers, it can be an extremely difficult and emotional time.

Healthcare providers recognise that and are determined to do all they can to minimise the disruption and disturbance to all concerned, to ensure that aspects of medical treatment do not preoccupy people as they are dying and detract from their precious final weeks or months.

Advance Care Plan (Living will)

People entering the final part of their life like to ensure that they have put all of their financial and legal affairs in order so that their families are not inconvenienced when they die. Depending on the person's condition they can also choose to grant others lasting Power of Attorney while they are still alive so that family members have authority to take important decisions on their behalf about the treatment they receive.

To help with this, locally we and our partner organisations have drawn up a single plan that people can use across the area and which will be recognised by medical staff and other practitioners.

It is called the Advance Care Plan and it allows someone entering end of life care to set out a number of priorities and wishes relating to their care. This sort of plan is sometimes referred to as a 'living will'.

To download a copy of the local plan, click here.

Palliative Care

End of life care includes palliative care. If you have an illness that can’t be cured, palliative care is the name given to the care you receive that makes you as comfortable as possible, by managing your pain and other symptoms. It can also include psychological, social and spiritual support for you and your family or carers, depending on your/their specific needs.

Palliative care isn’t just for the end of life. People can receive palliative care earlier in their illness.

Where can you go for help?

Different health and social care professionals may be involved in your end of life care, depending on your needs. For example, hospital doctors and nurses, your GP, community nurses, hospice staff and counsellors may all be involved, as well as social care staff, chaplains (of all faiths or none), physiotherapists, occupational therapists or complementary therapists.

If you are being cared for at home or in a care home, your GP has overall responsibility for your care. Community nurses usually visit you at home, and family and friends may be closely involved in caring for you too.

Palliative care

Many healthcare professionals provide palliative care as part of their jobs, i.e. GPs or community nurses.

Additional specialist palliative care may be provided by consultants trained in palliative medicine, specialist palliative care nurses or specialist occupational therapists or physiotherapists.

Palliative care teams are made up of different healthcare professionals and can co-ordinate the care of people with an incurable illness. As specialists, they also advise other professionals on palliative care.

Palliative care services may be provided by the NHS, your local council or a charity.

Contact details for local sources of help.

Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice

Phyllis Tuckwell is the only Hospice Care service for adult patients, and their families, across the whole of West Surrey and part of North East Hampshire, in the Hospice, at the Beacon Centre, in patients’ own homes and in the community.

For many patients, when a cure is not possible, hospice care helps manage pain and improves the quality of life for both the patient and their family.

Seeking care through Phyllis Tuckwell isn’t about giving up hope or hastening death, but rather a way to get the most appropriate care in the last phase of lifebecause every day is precious.

website: http://www.pth.org.uk/

email: mail@pth.org.uk

Tel: 01252 729 400

Address: Waverley Lane,Farnham,Surrey.GU9 8BL

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