We offer palliative care in all of our nursing homes to ensure that our residents are comfortable, reassured and dignified in the closing stages of their lives. We know that it can be overwhelming when you’re considering palliative care options for a loved one, so we’ve put together all the information you need to know to ensure you can make an informed decision.
What is Palliative Care?
Palliative care is an all-encompassing term that covers the treatment, care and support of people with a life-limiting illness, one from which they will not recover. Life limiting illnesses are “progressive” as they will get worse over time, and include illnesses such as late stage cancer, dementia and motor neurone disease. With palliative care, the aim is to help people enjoy a good quality of life in the time they have left. This may be for months or even years.
This is done through a combination of different approaches, including pain management as well as emotional and spiritual support. It also includes social care, help with everyday activities such as washing, getting dressed and eating.
Palliative care is a holistic approach, as it treats the whole person, rather than just the symptoms. It also aims to provide support for family and friends, as we understand it can be an upsetting time for everyone close to the resident.
People can receive palliative care at any stage of their illness, and some people do have palliative care for many years, as it can be given at the same time as treatments or medicines for an illness.
Sometimes, however, palliative care is given to people who are close to the end of their life. In this instance, it is called end of life care.
What is the Difference between Palliative Care and End of Life Care?
As mentioned, palliative care can include end of life care. While palliative care can be given at any time during the course of treatment of the person’s illness, end of life care is care that is given to someone who is in the last stages of their life – this may be a number of months, but this is difficult to predict, and more commonly end of life care lasts only weeks or even days.
End of life care is suggested for people who are expected to pass away within the next twelve months, which can include people:
– with a life-threatening acute condition that has been caused by, for example, a stroke or a serious accident
– who are in the advanced stages of an incurable illness, including people with dementia, motor neurone disease (MND), cancer or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
– who are generally frail with pre-existing conditions
The purpose of end of life care is to make sure that residents are comfortable and pain free, and to help them to live as well as they can until the end of their life. It is person-centred care, which means that the wishes of the resident will always be taken into account, as well as the preferences of their friends and family.
Communication and discussion is an important part of end of life care, and caregivers will talk openly and honestly with all residents receiving this type of care about what they should expect. An individual care plan will be created for each person, tailored to their specific needs and wishes.
Who Provides Palliative and End of Life Care?
There are a variety of people involved in both palliative and end of life care, depending on the needs of the resident. Doctors and nurses take key roles in this type of care, as well as physiotherapists, dieticians, occupational therapists or complementary therapists, if required.
There may also be chaplains involved to provide spiritual support, and counsellors may take care of emotional and psychological needs.
Everyone involved in palliative and end of life care should be trained in giving this type of support, and they will always treat the emotional state of the resident and their family with empathy and respect.
Here at Randolph Hill, we pride ourselves on getting to know each resident as a person, with all their individual likes and dislikes. We welcome families’ involvement as much as possible. Our team has a wealth of experience allowing us to offer sensitive, personal care.
Our registered nurses, caring for people in the palliative stages, regularly attend specific training in nursing techniques and management methods. This ensures that they are up-to-date with innovations in pain control and other practices.
Along with the local GP Practice and multi-disciplinary team, we ensure that residents are pain-free, comfortable and peaceful.
Helping When You Need it Most
Our experienced team at Randolph Hill Nursing Homes Group are dedicated to providing the very best care for each resident and their loved ones at this difficult time. Our end of life care is caring and professional at all times, helping to guide you through a difficult time.
If you’d like to speak to a member of the team about our palliative care in Edinburgh and central Scotland, just contact us, and we’ll be happy to discuss the best options for you.