End of life is a transformative and deeply personal experience. For this reason, there is no single end of life care option that is universally recommended. Rather, choosing the right route for your loved one will require a deep understanding of their personal belief systems and desires as well as thoughtful research of the options in your area. In this post, Santé’s medical social workers summarize the most common types of end of life care to make this difficult process just a little easier on you and your family.
First, it’s important to determine the best place for your loved one:
- Skilled Nursing Facilities, sometimes called long-term care facilities, are often a feasible solution for those facing long-term illness or advanced aging who require around the clock care and who are not good candidates for staying home. Some of the reasons people choose skilled nursing is they want access to more activities or social opportunities or their home is not safe or conducive to care. Both hospice care and palliative care can be provided in a skilled nursing facility.
- Home Health Care services may also be a great option to meet your loved one’s needs during end of life. Home health services are provided in the comfort of their own home, which often provides myriad benefits including familiarity, guest accommodation, and privacy. Varying levels of care can be provided through home health including skilled nursing services, assistance with activities of daily living, comfort cares, hospice care, and palliative care.
Next, you’ll consider the level of care that’s most appropriate and most aligned with your loved one’s wishes:
- Palliative Care is designed to keep those with chronic or terminal illnesses as comfortable as possible through appropriate hydration, treatment, and pain management. There are no prognosis requirements for palliative care, which means those who are not terminally ill but who face chronic pain or other debilitating illness can still receive services.
- Hospice Care is reserved for those whose primary care physicians have given them a prognosis of six months or less to live. Hospice care staff are focused on two primary components of end of life care: 1) ensuring your loved one’s wishes are met during this important time, and 2) ensuring your loved one is comfortable.
Santé offers patient-centered home health, hospice, and palliative care across Arizona. To visit directly with our medical social workers about your options during this deeply personal time, give us a call at 480-563-2402 today.