We know from our experience of supporting people who are nearing the end-of-life, how upsetting and distressing it can be for all the family. It is a very emotional time for all involved that requires a sensitive, compassionate and respectful approach to care. Our high-quality end-of-life care at home provides effective management of any symptoms a person may be experiencing, whilst supporting a person’s emotional and psychological needs.
There are many benefits to staying in the secure, familiar and comfortable surroundings of your own home when you need end-of-life care at home.
Moving at any time in life in later years can be traumatic and an upheaval. For those who need end-of-life care at home UK, the thought of moving into a care home setting or a hospice can only add to the stress and upset they are already likely to be feeling. Here we explain what end-of-life care at home is, the many benefits of it and how we can help you if you need this type of care. We know that 70% of the population would like to pass away in the comfort of their own home, but less than a quarter do. Through providing a specialist end-of-life care pathway, we are proud to have enabled 77% of our clients to pass away in the comfort of their own home.
What is end-of-life care at home?
End-of-life care at home is a specialist and supportive care service for those who are nearing the end of their life and wish to receive this care in their own home. Most people who are receiving end-of-life care are in the last year of their life. The approach to providing high quality end-of-life care at home is to ensure that the person receiving care is as comfortable as possible in the time they have left.
During this time people should talk to friends and family about their wishes to ensure they are considered in the way you are cared for right up until the end-of-live. End-of-life care at home requires a dignified, respectful and sensitive approach, not only to the person being cared for but all the family. The focus of end-of-life live-in care is to make sure a person can continue to stay in their treasured home and avoid receiving this care in a hospital or a hospice setting.
Planning end-of-life care at home
Planning end-of-life care is something none of us wish to do. Many of us simply do not want to address what the future holds, what will happen at the end or how or where care will be received. However, for families in this situation the earlier you can have an open and honest conversation about your wishes and preferences the sooner a plan of end-of-life care at home can be put in place. This specialist care plan will not just aim to meet your care needs but will address your choices and wishes that you would like considered, right to the very end.
A survey conducted by Dying Matters found that only 4% of people had written a plan of care that considered and addressed their wishes at the end-of-life. However, the survey also identifies the sense of relief families feel when asked about their wishes and can take positive steps to put the right care in place that meets an individual’s holistic needs.
End-of-life care services
Specialist nurse-led care
Importantly for those who need end-of-life care at home we provide nurse-led care. This means our professional carers are trained to monitor and identify any changes in your health, responding appropriately and avoiding any unnecessary hospital admissions. As part of our commitment to delivering high-quality end-of-life care, we monitor and measure health outcomes to ensure we continually improve the care we provide. When needed, we work with leading nursing companies and other healthcare professionals to ensure end-of-life nursing care at home can be delivered safely and effectively.
Managing and administering medications
We know how important it is to effectively manage medications for those receiving end-of-life care. Our professional carers are trained in medications management and use an electronic medications system to ensure all medications are managed proactively and efficiently. They will also collect prescriptions from the pharmacy.
Ensuring safe mobility in and around the home
Uniquely, we have an in-house Occupational Therapist, Jackie Cooper who will provide expert guidance and advice as to what equipment can help improve safe movement and mobility around your home, whilst providing recommendations as to home adaptations that will make life at home easier and more comfortable.
Companionship and psychological support
We know how important companionship is for someone nearing the end-of-life - just a listening ear as and when you need it can have very positive effects on well-being. We ensure that a perfectly matched, compassionate and sensitive carer understands how you wish to receive end-of-life care at home, ensuring life remains interesting, stimulating and enjoyable. Your carer will be there for you to support your emotional and psychological needs, which we know is so important when receiving palliative care.
Providing discreet and sensitive personal care
This can include the task-orientated aspects of caring for someone, like bathing and getting dressed, but also those that promote self-esteem, like having your nails maintained, or your hair styled. Many people who need end-of-life care at home have continence concerns and our respectful carers will ensure this is handled sensitively and effectively.
Planning and cooking meals
We understand the importance of nutrition and hydration for a person nearing end-of-life. We work to create specialist menu plans that meet these needs, whilst working with a person’s preferences. If you need help to feed yourself our carer is on hand to support you with this.
Facilitating social arrangements in the home
Your carer will ensure you can see all your friends and family as and when you want to, which we know is so important and will welcome any visitors you have.
Trips and visits out of the home in your local community
Our carers know how important it is to ensure you can continue to do as much you wish and that you remain connected to your local community – whether that is a stroll round the local park or visiting friends or those shops you always have.
This includes cleaning of all rooms and vacuuming throughout to keep your house to the standards of cleanliness and tidiness you always have.
Caring for your much-loved pet
Carers will happily support looking after your pet.
Benefits of end-of-life care at home
One-to-one care around the clock
Having a dedicated carer providing one-to-one care who truly understands your needs and wishes at end-of-life can improve the experience of end-of-life. In a care home you would not get this level of dedicated care. You have peace of mind that your carer is with you 24 hours a day to care and support you.
Highly personalised approach to end-of-life care
A uniquely developed care plan designed to meet your care and support needs, will also focus on how you wish to live day to day to the end-of-life. If you were to receive end-of-life care in a care home, how you spend your day would be dictated by timetables and set routines.
Familiar and comforting surroundings
Being cared for in the privacy, familiarity and comfort of your own home, with all your memories and treasured possessions around you has significant benefits to overall well-being. If you have a pet you can continue to spend time with you at home, with a carer supporting you. In a care home or hospital setting you would not be able to keep your pet.
Peace of mind for you and your family
If you are receiving end-of-life care at home, you can see your family and friends at any time you wish without having to stick to visiting times or visiting routines. If you are a couple and one of you needs to receive end-of-life care, then you can stay together as a loving couple right to the very end-of-life. Given the benefits family can bring to you overall self-esteem and mental health well-being during this time, many people choose end-of-life care at home over moving into a care home.
Why choose The Good Care Group for end-of-life care?
There are many compelling reasons to use The Good Care Group for high-quality end-of-life care at home:
Expert training in end-of-life care
Our sensitive carers are experienced in facilitating discussions about needs, preferences and wishes with respect and sensitivity for those receiving end-of-life care at home. Carers are trained to support people who are nearing the end of life. Our managers are trained to have the skills and confidence to have positive conversations about the dying process, so an individual’s wishes and preferences are considered throughout. This approach has seen us reduce anxiety and emotional upset for individuals at the end-of-life, but also for families who are reassured that the right plan of care is in place, in good time for their loved one.
Specialist end-of-life care pathway
Our end-of-life nursing care at home for those living with complex medical needs is led, developed and supported by our in-house, specialist consultant nurse, Dr Jane Pritchard. She provides clinical insight, medical assessment, home visit consultations and liaison with medical professionals to those receiving end-of life care at home, whilst supporting their families.
Improved health outcomes for those at end-of-life
We are proud to be transforming health outcomes for those who are receiving end-of-life care at home. In 2019 our care teams achieved the following outcomes for those they cared for:
Unrivalled falls prevention programmes
In England alone, 30% of people over the age of 65 fall at least once a year and for those 80 and over it is 50%. By comparison, only 7% of our clients aged 65 and over fell at least once, and that was only 6% for those aged 80 or over. Our clients are seven times less likely to suffer a serious injury because of a fall than residents living in a residential care home. This is a result of our quality one-to-one care, which just cannot be achieved in even the very best care home, and our effective personalised falls management programmes.
Reducing urinary tract infections (UTIs)
Through enhanced training and the use of our market-leading digital technology, our professional carers can perform urinalysis tests. This means they can provide accurate and timely information to GP’s, enabling a quick diagnosis and treatment. 82% of our clients were diagnosed in 2019 using urinalysis kits, and through the introduction of testing we were able to reduce emergency interventions involving a 999 call or ambulance call out by a staggering 63%. We have also achieved a 22% reduction in overall UTI related hospital admissions.
Effective pressure sore management
Our high-quality home care provided by dedicated and professional carers has seen a staggering reduction in pressure sores in those we care for when compared to both hospital and care home settings. Our clients are nine times less likely to acquire a pressure sore than they are in a care home and three times less likely than in hospital.
Proactive monitoring of chest infections
Our partnership with an award-winning technology provider, has seen us reduce hospital admissions for those with respiratory problems by 28%.
Efficient management of medications
Our digital technology is used proactively to effectively support safe administration of medications, which has seen error rates of 3% compared to a 22% error rate in care home settings.
Highest rated service by care regulators in England and Scotland
The Good Care Group is the only dedicated live-in care provider in England to achieve an ‘Outstanding’ rating by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) across all five categories – safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led. In Scotland our service has been inspected by the Care Inspectorate (CI), receiving the highest rating of a 6 (Excellent) for Quality of Care and Support and 5 (Very Good) for Staffing and Management and Leadership. We know this provides families with peace of mind that their loved one is receiving the best possible care.
A fully managed and regulated care service
Unlike introduction agencies, who are not regulated by CQC or the CI, all our live-in carers are directly employed and managed by us. We ensure they are supervised by an experienced manager and supported by clinical experts – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. By employing are carers they are engaged in our high-quality approach to delivering care at home and decide to stay with us longer than many carers who work for an introduction agency. This means you and your pet get continuity of care and support, without constantly changing carers – peace of mind for everyone, including your pet!
Case study: Anne’s story – the dignity and comfort mum deserved
My mum was 97 and very frail following a series of strokes over the last 10 years. After another significant stroke, she was admitted to hospital, where she was also diagnosed with heart failure.
When the doctors told us that mum now needed end-of-life care, whilst this was distressing for us all, I knew straight away there was only one place she would want to receive it. In her own, dearly loved home, surrounded by her memories, her family and friends and her faithful cat Freddie.
I contacted The Good Care Group, with a view to bringing mum home for the last time.
One of their Care Managers visited us in hospital before she was discharged, to understand mum’s needs and wishes. She spent time talking to the doctors and nurses and created a holistic plan of care which would keep mum comfortable and pain free at home, living with dignity and respect in the time she had left.
The Care Manager knew the two professional carers on her team she wanted to look after mum. It came as such a relief to learn that both were experienced in delivering end-of-life care at home and were extremely well trained.
They cared for mum in her room, with her favourite music – Mozart – playing gently in the background. Whenever she woke, day or night, she was treated to the sound of his symphonies, which seemed to keep her calm and at peace. Freddie her cat was invited onto the bed, where he had always slept, and Mum loved to have him nearby.
The carers cooked her small portions of her favourite meals – it was agreed she would eat what she wanted, when she wanted. They used her favourite scented soap to wash her each day and spent hours just sitting, holding her hands, rubbing cream into her skin, keeping her nails trim and her make-up just so – exactly as she instructed them to do!
Even in the last days, when it was sometimes hard to tell if she knew we were there, they did not deviate from her wishes. She passed away a few weeks later, with Freddie on her lap and her favourite music playing softly.
We were all able to visit before the end came and I cannot speak highly enough of the carers who made sure mum felt safe and comfortable and allowed us to spend such precious time together.