What kind of care is available to the terminally ill?

The support for individuals in the last years or months of their life is end of life care. It is intended towards allowing an individual to live well in the best possible way, and expire with dignity.

Correspondingly, the providers of end of life care must ask the individual about his preferences and wishes. These factors must be taken into account as the end of life care for the individual is planned. Alternately, the care providers must support the individual’s family and carers.

The recipient of the care has the right to convey his wishes regarding the location where he would like to receive care, or the location where he intends to expire. A few of the choices available include at home, hospices, care homes or hospitals. One can then choose among the alternatives depending upon one’s preferences and requirements.

An individual who is approaching the end of life deserves to access quality end of life care. This is irrespective of the factor for which they are accessing the care.

Providers of end of life care

End of life care is likely to involve varied healthcare and social care professionals. This is subject to the recipient’s requirements. Just as an example, the team may involve hospital nurses or doctors, the recipient’s GP, hospice staff, community nurses and counsellors. This may include social care staff as well.

In some cases, complementary therapists and physiotherapists are involved as well.

In case one is being taken care of at a care home or home, his GP takes the overall responsibility of the care provided. While family and friends are actively involved with providing care, community nurses make visits to the patient.

Palliative care

Palliative care is a part of end of life care. For an illness that cannot be cured, palliative care renders comfort. It helps manage all distressing symptoms including pain.

Alternately palliative care renders support at a social, psychological and spiritual level for the family members of the patient. The approach is holistic. It deals with the individual, and works beyond his health condition.

Palliative care goes beyond being end of life care. A patient can avail it at an earlier stage of his illness. This is while one receives the additional therapies for healing his condition.

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God and Death – What happens to an atheist as they approach the end?

Do we have atheists in foxholes? It is not just a point to ponder but a question that has arisen time and again.  At a time as intricate as the deathbed, even non-believers turn to God.

The thoughts at the time of death are in general a frequent topic of research under experimental psychology. It helps us derive the conclusion as to whether our lives are actually based upon our belief system. It lets us define the extent to which our belief system renders an influence over our lives.

But in the case of atheists, it may actually be difficult to determine what they actually feel on the deathbed. Is it something apart from religious faith, or do they turn to God as well?

A few of the researchers have the opinion that atheists do turn to God on their deathbed, but that might be the only time wherein their faith is reaffirmed. 

Religion does offer a range of psychological comforts, but they do not stand to be a universal necessity. Researchers nevertheless frequently derive the conclusion that death makes the believers more religious.

Among the functionalities of religion is to safeguard an individual against the anxieties that accompany death. The believer is led to believe that death is merely the end of earthly mortality. Thoughts related to mortality hence enhance the devotion to a greater extent.

Conscious and unconscious beliefs of an individual who is an atheist may stay disconnect on deathbed. A non-believer may counter the thoughts of inevitable by strengthening his view of the world. They frequently harbor the view that denies the existence of supernatural entities.

There are numerous cases wherein thoughts of mortality turn the focus of non-believer towards God. Similarly, the belief of believers strengthens with such thoughts.

A distinction must also be made amongst atheists and agonists. They react to reminders of mortality in different ways. There are cases wherein an agonist does not turn to a higher power, even upon thoughts related to reminders of mortality. They instead lay their focus towards a secular cause, which allows them to live on after they are gone.

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