End of life Care
Although the subject of dying is often painful to contemplate for everyone involved, letting your family know about your wishes could help them if they need to make decisions for you about your care. Knowing they are acting in accordance with your wishes can remove some of the stress from a very difficult situation.
Good planning for all your needs should mean you can (if you choose) remain in your home or care home in your last days and not have to be admitted to hospital.
Even if you are not approaching the end of your life, you may still want to think about your wishes for your own end of life care. This could include where you would like to be cared for, where you would prefer to die, your wishes for your funeral and who you would like to make decisions about your care, if you are not able to decide for yourself.
Currently, in Shropshire, there are a number of services providing end of life care. These include the Hospice at Home service, specialist palliative care nurses both in the community and in hospital, and district nursing services. Many care homes will also offer end of life care.
Their aim is to make the patient as comfortable as possible by relieving pain and other distressing symptoms while providing psychological, social and spiritual support for patients and their families.
When choosing a care service you should consider its end of life care philosophy and policies. Enabling people to die in comfort and with dignity is a core part of providing care and the way care professionals approach the process will be incredibly important for you, your family and carers.
If you have a terminal illness, or are approaching the end of your life, you should consider making plans for your future care. Planning ahead in this way is sometimes called ‘advance care planning’ and involves thinking and talking about your wishes for how you are cared for in the final months of your life. This can let people know your wishes and feelings while you are still able to. Your GP should always be the first point of contact for end of life advice, support and care. They will be able to help you link to local services.
You can find more information and advice about End of life care and planning ahead on NHS Choices. The links below provides additional information, advice and support.