Choosing end-of-life care over continuing to seek a cure is never an easy decision. But often, it’s the most compassionate one. End-of-life care, for those who chose it, is a precious and considerate component of a patient’s needs.
For many patients, the preference to complete end-of-life care in their home, surrounded by family, is the choice that can make all the difference in the final days, and HealthKeeperz does what it can to make this last wish possible.
Palliative Care Vs. End-of-Life Care
According to the National Institute on Aging, “End-of-life care is the term used to describe the support and medical care given during the time surrounding death.
This type of care does not happen only in the moments before breathing ceases and the heart stops beating. Older people often live with one or more chronic illnesses and need significant care for days, weeks, and even months before death.”
Alternatively, palliative care is specialized medical care designed for people with severe chronic illnesses like cancer. During palliative care, a person may receive medical treatment intended to reverse the disease and ease the suffering the condition may cause.
To contrast the two, someone receiving palliative care may have a chance of recovery and quality of life. Someone receiving end-of-life care is no longer receiving treatment in hopes of a cure. The focus is on making the time they have left as comfortable and fulfilling as possible.
End-of-life care may also be called hospice care or home life care.
When Does End-of-Life Begin?
A patient can stay in palliative care as long as they choose. Typically, one progresses from palliative to end-of-life care if there is little to no chance of getting better.
Shifting from palliative care to end-of-life care is a choice a patient and/or the family makes when they believe that they have exhausted medical options or that the cons of continuing treatment outweigh the pros.
Faith-based palliative care company HealthKeeperz recognizes this is not an easy decision to transition and attempts to provide all the support and information a patient and family needs to make a decision.
Four Pillars of End-of-Life Care
While the specifics may vary by patient, four pillars guide care:
- Provide comfort
- Support practical tasks (like eating and staying clean)
- Manage emotional and mental health needs
- Address spiritual needs
What is End-of-Life Planning?
Having a plan can make both end-of-life and what comes next easier for everyone. End-of-life planning includes elements like:
- Having a conversation with family, doctors, and other professionals about when it’s better for the patient to focus on “dying with dignity” versus pursuing a cure
- Rallying family and friends around the patient to provide the support that allows the patient to stay in their home
- Asking about patients’ last desires and trying to fulfill them
- Making decisions and signing documents regarding the level of medical intervention that should be used to keep a person alive, and when to revive
- What practical, mental, and emotional support and services do the patient and family need
- Last rites and funeral planning
Through all of these difficult decisions and considerations, HealthKeeperz helps grieving families develop plans based on their beliefs, values, and needs.
About the HealthKeeperz Approach to Home Life Care
Pembroke, North Carolina-based HealthKeeperz takes a holistic approach to palliative and end-of-life care. Their end-of-life experts provide emotional and spiritual support for patients and their families, in addition to taking care of medical and physical comfort needs.
They believe in “home life care” and that the most comfortable place for patients and families is in their homes. The staff at HealthKeeperz do everything possible to allow patients to stay in the comfort and convenience of home life care.