Addressing End-of-Life Care
Patients and their families often decide to make end-of-life care as dignified and comfortable as possible.
Being cared for at home often makes patients feel more secure and comfortable. They may want to be near family, friends and familiar surroundings. Healthcare providers can help coordinate the many services available to patients at home, including access to medical equipment, visiting nurses and physical therapists, help with daily hygiene and care, assistance with meal preparation, and delivery of medications.
Home healthcare professionals may even provide complex medical care during home visits. Services range from simple injections to complete care. Access to a professional who can be contacted day or night may be available, while overall care is supervised by the doctor, who is provided with up-to-date information.
Hospice care may be provided in the home, at a hospice facility or in a hospital. Patients who have a limited life expectancy and who are no longer undergoing treatment for cancer may receive hospice care. Based on the patient and family members’ needs and wishes, practical, emotional and spiritual support may be provided.
The goals of the hospice team are to be sensitive and responsive to the special requirements of each individual, and to make the patient as comfortable as possible. The patient is under professional medical care, with a focus on symptom relief. Trained volunteers are available to support and provide comfort and care to family members.