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How to Care for an End of Life Client
Live-in Care is suitable for people at different stages of their adult life, enabling them to continue living comfortably at home with the support they need to properly manage their condition or disability. This choice is also extended to those who have been diagnosed with terminal conditions.
End of life care delivered in the home can help a person find peace, and achieve their goal of staying at home. The assistance provided by live-in carers during these difficult times is of high value. Being able to make a difference at a time like this for a family is very special.
As palliative care (end of life care) differs from companionship or condition management care, we have outlined ways to prepare for and deliver a compassionate and supportive service to clients at end of life.
End Of Life Care Training
The prospect of providing care to a person reaching the end of their life can initially seem daunting, however, good training and support will help you develop the knowledge and skills needed to confidently and effectively provide palliative care.
During end of life care training, you'll discover how to provide holistic care for people with different terminal conditions including Cancer and Dementia, you'll find out how to tend to the medical and emotional needs of the individual and the best ways to offer invaluable support to their family and loved ones. Training will also prepare you for any challenges you may face and how to respond in an emergency and other situations.
A palliative care module will often be taught in conjunction with other live-in care skills during induction training. Further formal qualifications can be sought to extend your knowledge and expertise in the end of life care field - these courses can be provided by your employer or attainted independently.
A carer should provide a service that is compassionate, with the person's dignity at the forefront, these fundamentals should be followed through to the end of life.
A person may go through emotional, physical and mental changes during the final stages and as a live-in carer, you must be prepared to be flexible in your approach.Providing compassionate care does not always mean avoiding the fact of death, but rather being completely understanding, sensitive and responsive to the person's and families wishes and emotions, respecting their privacy and offering reassurance when appropriate.
Although reaching the end of their life, the person may still require assistance with aspects of personal care, this can include help with going to the bathroom, bathing and dressing and in some instances the administration of medication for pain relief and management.Staying on top of these duties will help the person remain comfortable during this period. This is essential for mental and emotional wellbeing as well as physical contentment.
The stage at which the person who has been diagnosed with a terminal condition receives care does differ. You may have a client with very short or longer life expectancy. A tailored end of life care plan will be developed to ensure day to day needs are met as the person progresses, and to also help your client remain as active and social as they possibly can be throughout different stages of their progression.
Although it is an emotionally tumultuous time for the person and their family, it is important that you remain calm and professional, encouraging peace by continuing to carry out all your duties including housekeeping, liaising with nurses and other healthcare professionals.
Providing Support To Family Members
End of life care at home means a person is able to be around their loved ones without restrictions such as visiting hours. Because of this, it is often the case that you will have regular interaction with the friends and families of your client.
It is important to recognise that this is a challenging and upsetting time for them. End of life care is all-encompassing, this means you will also be there to provide a support system for all those concerned.
Support to a person's loved ones can be provided in a variety of ways, this includes:
- Emotional Support - Being there for the family to talk about any emotions, worries, and concerns they may have.
- Practical Support - Taking responsibility for domestic duties such as caring for pets, cooking and cleaning. Giving the family the greatest opportunity to spend as much time with their loved one without distractions.
It's unlikely that the family members of the person will be able to be home at all times during the day, simply keeping family and friends updated can help reduce stress and provide some peace of mind during the difficult period.
Support For Live-in Carers
In order to provide the best end of life care, it is essential that your own personal wellbeing is maintained. Live-in carers are typically resilient and able to deal with the emotional stresses and
challenges of end of life care, however, the support services offered by your employers are there to be taken advantage of if ever needed. A carer should not hesitate to seek guidance or express any concerns they may have. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance by selecting a flexible rota pattern can also go a long way in providing adequate time off for you to mentally and physically recuperate.
End of life care is designed to provide physical care for comfort and dignity as well as a strong and reliable support network for family and friends. As a Live-in palliative carer, you will be assisting a person in their choice to live out their final weeks and days in a safe and comfortable environment, surrounded by happy memories, sentimental possessions, and their loved ones.
Are you interested in a career in Live-in Care? The Good Care Group is a Live-in care provider rated 'Outstanding' by the Care Quality Commission. We provide 24/7 support, attractive care employment packages and a full range of benefits. Find out more about Live-In Care jobs with The Good Care Group by visiting Live In Care Jobs page or contact us on +44 3331 308 578