Choosing to stay at home for end-of-life care

The thought of losing a beloved relative to an illness or planning for end-of-life care is something you try not to think about. Yet, for many elderly people, the decision to remain at home for this final stage of the journey is a deeply important wish which needs a family’s full support to make happen. Spending this remaining time with loved ones, in familiar and comforting surroundings is very important for many people, and it’s only natural for everyone around them to want to grant them the opportunity to remain at home.   

What families need to know about end-of-life (Palliative) Care at home

Palliative or end-of-life care can be difficult to discuss, but it’s important that people get the kind of care they want. end-of-life Care at home is designed to improve the quality of life for patients facing a terminal illness or frail age by supporting them in their own home, rather than a nursing home, hospital or hospice.

Specialist care teams, such as Just Better Care, are skilled and experienced in working with people at what can be an emotional and difficult time for all.

With end-of-life care, highly trained community care staff come together with palliative care teams (including nurses and doctors) to provide relief of pain and discomfort in the home, while offering compassionate support to families facing loss. A coordinator manages and liaises with different specialists and the family with compassion and dignity. It requires a caring, discrete approach that balances practical support and quiet time for families to connect in peace and privacy.

With the support of qualified and compassionate community support carers, families can focus on supporting their loved one’s emotional needs and making the most of their time together.

What assistance is available?

Specialist in-home end-of-life care provides high-level care, day and night, with a focus on dignity and comfort to support the person’s physical needs and quality-of-life in their own homes.

Palliative care services can include:

  • Nursing Care

  • Administering medication and pain management

  • Wound care

  • Monitoring of clinical signs

  • Reassurance and emotional support

  • Ongoing assessment of condition and wellbeing

  • Liaising with your doctor, specialist and other health professionals.

A team of many qualified staff will provide continuity of care, around the clock.

Care services also include other valuable daily help in the home such as:

  • Respite for family members

  • Meal preparation

  • Domestic assistance

  • Personal care

  • Overnight support.

What are the impacts for carers?

The last remaining days of a loved one’s life is a precious time for families who wish to focus on important conversations, sharing memories and reassuring words. It can be a deeply moving and emotional time for families, and the needs of the immediate family and close friends are also important.

Every family’s end-of-life journey is different. Everyone hopes for a peaceful, meaningful and dignified end to a loved one’s life. It may be hard and distressing if an illness or pain symptom progresses and changes quickly. Family carers should stay in touch with the end-of-life team to be informed about what clinical changes mean and prepared for what may happen.  

Choosing to remain at home can also mean the house is filled with many people and visitors, which can, at times, be a challenge. The right support makes all the difference, as discrete and compassionate care teams will respect a family’s need for space and privacy.

The goal of remaining at home is to help the person experience end-of-life in a more comfortable and reassuring environment, while also getting the right care to provide the best possible quality-of-life. It is the wish of many people in our community, and it’s good to know support is available when families need it most.