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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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