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You can receive palliative care at any stage in your illness and it does not mean you will necessarily die soon – some people receive palliative care for years. However, palliative care does include caring for people who are nearing the end-of-life, sometimes referred to as end-of-life care. The approach to delivering care and support is different depending on where you are in your journey.
Palliative care is focused on effectively managing symptoms whilst ensuring you continue to live the life you wish and achieve your personal goals. With end-of-life care the emphasis changes to ensure you are able to end your days as you wish whilst receiving sensitive and dignified personal care and much-needed emotional support, in the place you want avoiding unnecessary hospital admission.
Palliative care at home
At The Good Care Group we know from our experience of supporting people for over 10 years who are living with a life-limiting illness or terminal diagnosis, 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. Our high-quality palliative care at home provides effective management of any symptoms a person may be experiencing, whilst supporting their emotional and psychological needs. All in the place they love most – their own home.
We know how valuable a support network is for families whose loved one is at the end-of-life. Compassion is at the forefront of all we do, and we are dedicated to extending this to all the family, providing much-needed reassurance as and when they need it. From the sensitive care provided by our professional carer to the support offered by our management team, we also work closely with other health professionals involved to ensure a smooth and holistic service is provided that offers peace of mind for everyone.
Home is best for palliative care
We know that given the choice 97% of us would choose to receive care in our own home as opposed to move into a nursing or residential home, according to a survey conducted by the live-in care hub. Moving at any time in life in later years can be traumatic and a huge upheaval, but for those who need palliative care 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. We know that 70% of the population would like to pass away in the comfort of their own home, but less than a quarter actually do. We are very proud to have enabled 81% of our clients to pass away in the comfort of their own home by providing a specialist pathway for palliative care that avoids admission to hospital for the last days.
A specialist pathway for
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 care can be put in place that meets not just your care needs, but addresses your choices and how you wish to live your life and be cared for, 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.
The highly personalised and flexible support we provide from a trained and well-matched carer is proven to not only meet a person’s care needs, but also to improve their quality of life no matter where they are in their journey. Our approach to providing high quality palliative care at home, with a fully managed and regulated service that families can trust is setting the standards in live-in care for those who are nearing, or at the end-of-life.
Experts in palliative care
At The Good are Group we have been working with palliative care consultant, Dr Kathryn Mannix a leader in the field of expert end-of-life care and author of ‘With the End in Mind’. Our care management team has been trained by Dr Mannix to equip them with the skills and confidence to sensitively encourage positive conversations with our clients about the dying process as early in care planning as reasonably possible, whilst delivering a plan of care that respects individual wishes and preferences. We have created a palliative care training programme endorsed by Dr Mannix, which all our professional carers complete during their induction training before being placed with a client.
This approach has seen us reduce anxiety and emotional upset for individual’s living with terminal or life-limited illness, but also for families who are reassured that the right plan of care is in place, in good time for their loved one.
What does our palliative care include?
Specialist nurse-led care
Importantly for those living with life-threatening illness, we provide nurse-led care which 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 palliative care at home, 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 any complex medical procedures can be delivered at home. If you need to attend hospital for treatments or therapy, our compassionate carer will accompany you to these visits providing support – just when you need it.
Managing and administering medications
We know how important it is to effectively manage medications for those receiving palliative 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 as and when you need it
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 wellbeing. We ensure that a perfectly matched, compassionate and sensitive carer understands how you wish to receive your care, 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.
Planning and cooking meals
We understand the importance of nutrition and hydration for a person nearing the 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 facilitate and 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
Caring for your much-loved pet
Carers will happily support looking after your pet, including taking dogs for regular walks.
Short term care or respite care
Our palliative care for those nearing the end-of-life is highly flexible and we provide our service as either 24 hour live-in care, a short term care arrangement or as respite care.
With a full time, live-in care arrangement a professional carer will live with you in your home providing around the clock care and support, focused on improving your overall health and wellbeing, whilst enhancing the quality of your life. There are many benefits of 24 hour care, not least that the carer will truly get to know you as a person, not just your care needs but they will be on hand to support you to live life the way you wish, with as much independence as possible.
Respite care or a short term arrangement provide an opportunity for a family carer to take a much needed break from caring for someone who is at end-of-life, or for you to try live-in care for the first time to see how live-in care works and whether it is the right choice for you in the future.
Why choose The Good Care Group
We have been providing high quality, live-in care to families in England and Scotland for over 10 years. At the heart of our award-winning service is enabling people to live independently in their own home with an improved quality of life. Our approach to care at home means our clients can achieve improved health and well-being. For families they benefit from peace of mind and reassurance that their loved on is receiving the very best care and support.
A perfectly matched care team
A live-in care service usually involves two carers working a two-week rotation. They will be carefully matched working with you and your family. We make sure they are skilled and equipped to meet all your care and support needs. Our focus on matching means the care team chosen share common interests and backgrounds. We know this means life is enjoyable for everyone. Your care team really get to know you and your needs, which means you get consistency of care.
Expertly trained carers
All our professional carers are required to complete our leading training programme before they care for our clients. Our programme has been created with leading charities and clinical experts. It goes beyond mandatory requirements in the care sector. Carers are then equipped to provide high-quality care and support for those living with specialist conditions. Our carers never stop learning new skills to further enhance the care they provide.
Continuity of care
Unlike an agency we employ our carers. This means they are committed to us, as we are to them. Carers enjoy the security of being employed, which means they stay with us longer. Those who work for agencies move around more. For families this means that you get continuity and consistency of the same care team caring for your loved one. This means high-quality care can be achieved with improved outcomes and no disruption to your loved one’s life.
In-house clinical experts
We have a dedicated team of in-house clinical experts. This includes a specialist consultant nurse, who also provides Admiral Nurse services to those living with dementia. Our management team consists of nursing professionals. They guide our carers to provide safe and effective nurse-led care at home. We also have our own in-house Occupational Therapist (OT) who works closely with healthcare professionals and our care teams. Our OT provides guidance and advice that enables people to live well in their own home with any equipment they may need. These experts lead, monitor and support our care teams to delivery best practice nurse-led care at home.
Innovative care technology
Unlike any other live-in care provider, we have our own online care community. Families, healthcare professionals and carers can access up to date information about the care being provided. It enables more effective monitoring, which means issues can be responded to efficiently. For our families it provides a reassuring window into the care their loved one is receiving. Our carers also use the online community to share ideas and support each other. It provides a vital connection which is important when remote working. Carers will use the online community so their clients can enjoy time online. This includes video calls with family, so they feel connected. Clients can use it to shop online or browse the web.
Improving health outcomes
Every decision we make is driven by delivering improved health outcomes for our clients. Our digital technology allows us to predict risk and shape the care we provide. We measure health outcomes.
We want to know we are improving the quality of our clients’ lives every year.
Our health and well-being aim to reduce:
- behaviours that may challenge
- Antipsychotic drugs in dementia care
- Falls in the home
- Hospital admissions
- Re-admission to hospital
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Chest infections
- Carer stress
- They aim to promote:
- Excellent nutrition and hydration
- Enjoyment in life
Highest service rating from care regulators in England and Scotland
Unlike introduction agencies we are fully regulated in England and Scotland. This means the care and support we provide is regularly inspected. We are the only dedicated live-in care provider in England to achieve an ‘Outstanding’ rating by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). We have achieved this rating in all five measures – safe, effective, caring responsive and well-led. In Scotland, our service has been inspected by the Care Inspectorate (CI). It has achieved the highest rating of a 6 (Excellent) for quality of care and support and 5 (very good) for staffing, 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 service
Families benefit from our fully managed service delivered by care experts. This means you do not need to worry about supervising and managing the carer looking after your loved one. Our professional carers are supervised by an experienced care manager and supported by clinical experts. We provide this support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your dedicated care manager will be on hand to support you, your loved one and our carer teams. We invest in our care management team to ensure they have enough time to give the support everyone needs. With our fully managed service, families do not have the burden of managing the care arrangement themselves. We know this means families can have peace of mind, whilst enjoying quality time with their loved one. They do not have to worry about the tasks of caring.
Local teams with national coverage
We operate throughout England and Scotland with a local approach to management of our teams near you. Each dedicated care manager local to you has only a small number of clients to support. This means they can provide higher levels of monitoring and support than other home care providers. It also means a highly personalised approach to care can be delivered.
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 palliative 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 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 near.
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.
What is included in our service?
Our highly personalised and flexible palliative care at home
- Full assessment before care starts
- Access to clinical expertise and medical support
- Bespoke and flexible care plan developed with input from the family and other healthcare professionals
- Matching of the most suitable care team to meet the holistic needs of our clients
- Dedicated care team led by an expert regional care manager
- Meal planning and household tasks
- Social activities and lifestyle enhancement
- Specialist support and expertise - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Costs of our palliative care
The cost of care for those needing palliative care at home will be typically higher as it is a specialist care at home service.
It is worth considering however that live-in care is often cheaper than the total cost of domiciliary care for those needing palliative care. When a person is receiving hourly care, provided by a domiciliary care provider it is likely that you will be charged extras for additional services to support the person’s specific palliative care needs on top of the cost of a carer visiting. These extras add up and can become costly over time. The total cost to provide hourly care to someone living with high or complex needs can sometimes exceed the price of an inclusive live-in care service.
Care and support for palliative care at home is typically in line with – and sometimes less than – what you would pay for nursing care in a residential setting, with the added benefit of receiving one-to-one tailored care, something that cannot be achieved in a nursing home.
How to get palliative care
If you get in touch with us, you can speak to a dedicated care advisor who will answer any questions you may have and provide any information you need to make the right decision for you and your family.We will then arrange a no-obligation home meeting with you and your loved one to discuss their needs and how we will to match the perfect professional carer for you, so we can then ensure we get the right team and care package in place. We appreciate that it might be that your loved one is in hospital awaiting discharge for the right care package to be put in place. Our care manager is happy to meet you in hospital to talk through what you need and provide an assessment. They will do everything to ensure a smooth transition back home, working closely with other healthcare professionals involved in your care.
Other conditions we care for
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Our friendly and experienced team is here to help you and your family make sense of the options available to you. Call us today – we will help you every step of the way.