Supporting and Caring for people living with a terminal illness | Benefits of palliative home care.

End of life home care Buckinghamshire

A report commissioned by the Marie Curie organisation covering the period up to the end of 2014 (the latest figures available), found that the need for end of life care (palliative care) in the UK has increased from 63% of all deaths to at least 74% of all deaths. This reflects the fact that an ageing population, living longer lives than ever before, equates to a larger number of people with long-term or complex health conditions requiring end-of-life care.

While you might assume a hospital or hospice would be the best place for a palliative care client, there have been inefficiencies and deficiencies in many hospital’s abilities to provide meaningful palliative care services. In-home palliative care professionals can ensure people have access to what they need when they need it.

Here is a heart-warming quote we’ve received from the son of a client we looked after until the end of his life: I will always recommend you. I will never forget your kindness, patience and understanding of you and your colleagues throughout the period of time with my dad. It makes such a difference at such a stressful time. All dad’s carers were lovely, but Lucy will stay in my heart forever for the relationship she had with my dear dad.  All the best to you and your wonderful team.

How palliative (end of life) home care works? 

For family and friends, having to cope with a loved one who has a terminal illness it is important to know that the people caring for them are suitably experienced and qualified in the field of end of life care.

In addition, it is vital to know that care professionals looking after your loved one are carrying out their daily tasks with compassion and dedication and that they are working alongside any doctors or other health professionals to ease the burden of illness and provide support both to the person in need of care and to family and friends.

This personalised at home support not only helps ease some of the emotional distress that family and friends will naturally be experiencing, but it also allows the dying person to receive the best possible care without the added burden of worrying about their loved ones.

Key facts

  • Palliative care improves the quality of life of clients and that of their families who are facing challenges associated with life-threatening illness, whether physical, psychological, social or spiritual.
  • Each year, an estimated 56.8 million people, including 25.7 million in the last year of life, are in need of palliative care.
  • The global need for palliative care will continue to grow as a result of the ageing of populations
  • Early delivery of palliative care reduces unnecessary hospital admissions and the use of health services.
  • Palliative care involves a range of services delivered by a range of professionals that all have equally important roles to play – including physicians, nursing, care professionals, paramedics, pharmacists, physiotherapists and volunteers –– in support of the client and their family.
  • A staggering 97 percent of people do not want to go into a care home if they become ill or less able to cope.
  • Only 40 percent of care homes can guarantee residents won’t have to move out if their condition deteriorates; in most cases live-in care clients enjoy packages that evolve to meet their needs until the end (in fact a large majority die at home or within 48 hours of going into hospital).

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

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.

Our goal is very much to help the person, and everyone affected by their diagnosis, to achieve the best quality of life. If you’d like to discuss your situation, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact us for a free, no obligation discussion.

Additional sources of information

What end of life care involves – NHS

What is palliative care? – Marie Curie

Palliative care – World Health Organization (WHO)

Care of dying adults in the last days of life. NICE

End of life issues | Age UK