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.
What is palliative care?
Palliative care is treatment, care and personalised support for people with life-limiting illness, their family and friends. The focus of palliative care is to enable you to have a good quality of life based around your choices and wishes, whilst remaining as independent and active as possible in the time you have left. Palliative care involves managing physical symptoms, such as pain and providing emotional, spiritual and psychological support. A life-limiting illness is one that cannot be cured and that you are likely to die from and includes illnesses like advanced cancer, motor neuron disease (MND) and advanced stage dementia.
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.
A specialist pathway for palliative care
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 Care 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
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.
"All the patients and families I have recommended have received an excellent service and The Good Care Group has made significant improvements to their quality of life."
Why choose The Good Care Group?
Specialist palliative care expertise
Our sensitive carers are experienced in facilitating discussions about needs, preferences and wishes with respect and sensitivity for those receiving palliative care. We train our carers to support people nearing the end-of-life, as well as how to support overall health and wellbeing before they are placed with a client. They will devise nutrition plans that meet the needs of a person receiving palliative care and create relaxation regimes that are calming, peaceful and that stimulate enjoyment in life. Our compassionate carers will support a person’s emotional and psychological needs to build self-esteem and mental wellbeing, whilst ensuring they are able to meet their specific goals.
Expert nurse-led care pathway
Our nurse-led service for those living with complex medical needs at the end-of-life is led, developed and supported by our in-house, specialist consultant nurse, Dr Jane Pritchard. Jane has a wealth of nursing expertise having been a dementia care nurse for over sixteen years. She provides clinical insight, medical assessment, home visit consultations and liaison with medical professionals to those receiving palliative care at home, as well as providing much-needed emotional support to their families at what can be an extremely distressing and challenging time. Jane will manage speedy and successful hospital discharge, support with transition to receiving palliative care at home and provides practical and informed advice to families that really makes a difference.
In addition, Jane provides hands-on support and advice to our regional care teams to ensure they have what they need to deliver the high quality nurse-led care our clients should expect, whilst enabling our team to manage health outcomes for their clients.
OT-led care at home
Our expert Occupational Therapist, Jackie Cooper provides our clients with the support they need to live safely and well at home, with all the equipment and any home adaptations they need to help them to live a full life, as independently as possible.
We work closely with and liaise with all other healthcare professionals involved in delivering care to someone with nearing the end-of-life, including GP’s, district nurses and physiotherapists to ensure all health needs through a holistic and multi-disciplinary approach to
A perfectly matched care team
A live-in care arrangement usually involves two carers working on a two-week rotation. They will be carefully matched working with you and your family to ensure they are able to meet not just your care and support needs, but are closely aligned with how you wish to live your life, sharing common interests, personalities and backgrounds. In the rare situation, the match does not work out we will happily work with you and your family to find the care team that does.
Expertly trained care teams
Our industry leading training programme completed by our care teams has been created with leading charities and clinical experts and goes well beyond industry standards. This enables our professional carers to support a range of conditions affecting older people, including complex conditions that require more monitoring, care and support. From training, through probation, into placement and beyond our carers never stop learning new skills that ensure they can deliver the quality care our clients should expect, whilst finding new ways to further enhance the level of care they provide.
Innovating care delivery through technology
Unlike any other live-in home care provider in the UK, we have invested in creating our own market-leading technology to further enhance our service. Through the development of an online community for our clients, their families and our professional carers, we are proactive and responsive to emerging issues, whilst enabling the softer social benefits that technology brings. The secure platform is focused on ensuring our carers are equipped to effectively deliver the high-quality care our clients should expect, whilst delivering improvements in health outcomes. Our families can access important information about the care of their loved one, providing a reassuring window into the care they are receiving.
Our professional carers use a dedicated community through a Chromebook to complete daily care records, update care plans, monitor nutrition and hydration and manage medications proactively with safety features ensuring accurate administration. This allows us to effectively monitor the health outcomes of our client’s care, so we can prevent and respond to incidents and ensure the very highest quality of care is always provided. The online community also allows our professional carers to network, support each other and share best practice, whilst facilitating a connection which is so important for a remote workforce.
For families who may live some distance away from their loved one, they can access care plans, care records and a calendar of events as and when they wish, offering much-needed peace of mind. We are proud that this community offers families a transparent and immediate insight into our service. The technology also provides families with reassurance that any cash handled by our carers is being managed safely and accurately, whilst enabling them to manage practical arrangements, such as food shopping remotely. They can also connect with our other clients’ families who may well be in a similar situation as themselves, so they can share their care experiences and support
Our professional carers will utilise the technology for their clients’ socialisation and enjoyment – everything from video calls with family members so they feel connected, online shopping to
general web browsing.
Improving health outcomes
At The Good Care Group every decision is driven by delivering improved health outcomes for our clients. Through our dedicated and committed approach to providing high quality care to our clients and the use of our market-leading digital technology, we see significant improvements in our clients’ overall health and
wellbeing every year.
Unique to the live-in home care market, the technology enables us to digitally monitor health outcomes allowing us to effectively predict risk and shape the care we provide. We know, for example that urinary tract infections (UTI’s) are one of the leading causes of hospital admissions for our clients, so we equip our carers with handheld testing kits to proactively monitor our clients for infections. We then benchmark our data to demonstrate how effective our care is in improving the quality of our client’s lives in the context of other types of care provision, for example care homes.
Our health measures are focused on achieving the following:
- Promoting wellbeing, independence and enjoyment
- Reducing behaviours that challenge through implementation of psychosocial techniques
- Reducing and eliminating antipsychotic drug use
- Promoting excellence in nutrition and hydration
- Reducing and preventing falls in the home
- Reducing hospital admissions and re-admission
- Reducing UTI’s and chest infections
- Reducing carer stress
We are proud to be transforming health outcomes for those who require care at home. In 2020 our care teams achieved the following outcomes for those they cared for:
Proactive Monitoring of Chest Infections
Our vigilant carers manage early signs of illness, such as chest infections enabling timely intervention to avoid unnecessary hospital admissions. This has resulted in a 28% reduction in chest infection hospital admissions.
Reducing urinary tract infections (UTI’s)
Through enhanced training our professional carers can perform urinalysis tests. This means they can provide timely information to GP’s, enabling a quick diagnosis and treatment. 80% of our clients were diagnosed in 2020 using urinalysis kits. Through the introduction of testing, our clients are three times less likely to require emergency interventions involving a 999 call or ambulance call out when a urine test is completed.
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 six times less likely to suffer a serious injury as a result 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.
Working with our in-house Occupational Therapist, we identify clients who are ‘frequent fallers’ and through an intensive and personalised approach to falls management resulted in 50% of our clients never falling again.
A specialist pathway for palliative care at home
For those with a life-limiting illness or a terminal condition, most of us given the choice would wish to end our days in the comfort of our own home. However, the percentage of people in the general population who can do that is as low as 19%. By comparison, our approach to one-to-one palliative care at home has enabled 81% of our clients to pass away in the place they love most – their own home.
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. Comparative data shows that you are 13 times less likely to acquire a pressure sore in The Good Care Group's care when compared to a hospital and 26 times less likely when compared to care home rates.
Efficient management of medications
Our digital technology is used proactively to effectively support safe administration of medications, which has seen error rates of 2.4% compared to a 22% error rate in care home settings.
Reducing the use of antipsychotic medication for those living with dementia
The use of antipsychotic medication to treat dementia symptoms has been increasingly challenged over the last ten years, as they have been shown to be harmful for people living with dementia and are at times prescribed unnecessarily. Through our approach to professional and specialist one-to-one care for those living with dementia, and the use of our market leading digital technology (eMAR) our clients are four times less likely to be prescribed antipsychotic medication than residents of care homes.
Peace of mind and reassurance
Rated ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC)
The Good Care Group is the only live-in care provider in the UK to achieve an ‘Outstanding’ rating by CQC across all five categories – safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led. We know this provides families with peace of mind that their loved one is receiving the best possible care.
A fully managed and regulated palliative care service
We provide a fully managed and regulated palliative care service which offers families reassurance at a time they need it most. Unlike introduction agencies who are not regulated by CQC, all our professional carers are directly employed and managed by us. We ensure they are supervised by an experienced manager and supported by clinical experts – 24 hour a day, 7 days a week.
Local teams with national coverage
We operate nationwide with a local approach to management of our teams near you. Each dedicated care manager has as small portfolio of clients to support, enabling the care team to provide a tailored one-to-one approach with unrivalled levels of monitoring and support.
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.