Palliative care is specialist support, treatment and care needed by someone who is living with what’s often called a life-limiting condition or illness. There may come a time when your loved one finds themselves in need of a home carer who can help to improve their quality of life as they face a life-limiting illness.
It's important to understand the purpose of this type of care and what to do if you need to consider it for a loved one.
Palliative care, sometimes referred to as ‘end-of-life’ care should always focus on obeying the wishes of the individual, ensuring their physical comfort and offering support to their loved ones.
This type of care could last from a couple of days up to 12 months or more.
There are many different dimensions to palliative care, and it’s about being able to provide support in each area – for this reason people receiving this type of care will often receive support from a number of people and caregivers.
Palliative care is based on a spectrum requiring input from a number of different people, support systems and healthcare professionals. The exact requirements can include physical, psychosocial and spiritual support.
Care services can be provided by healthcare and medical professionals, psychologists, spiritual figures and social care services.
Live-in care provides social support for those who need palliative care, assisting with healthcare plans, providing personal care, running errands and providing companionship for friends and family. Live-in palliative carers also provide various aspects of support for the other members of the wider care team.
Commonly used Palliative Care terms
Rapid Decline – A term often used when people have conditions such as terminal cancer. These conditions will likely involve a longer period of steady progression before entering a clearly defined terminal phase. It’s at this point palliative care is put in place.
Intermittent Decline – A term associated with people suffering from respiratory conditions or heart failure usually follow a gradual trajectory of decline but with episodes of acute deterioration, followed by some recovery. This pattern may continue for some years, with the option of care available throughout.
Gradual Decline – Gradual decline is usually experienced by the elderly and those living with conditions such as dementia. The period of decline can be much longer, end of life care could be implemented when the family feel it’s appropriate.
You can organise palliative care at any stage of your loved one’s illness and arranging it doesn’t mean that they’re likely to pass any time soon. In fact, many people receive personalised end of life care for years. Many people receive this type of elderly care alongside other therapies and medicines aimed at controlling illnesses, such as radiotherapy or chemotherapy.
When considering palliative care it’s important to consider 'advance care planning'. Advance care planning is a specific type of end-of-life planning which should take place whilst a person is still able to communicate their wishes. This will give your loved one the opportunity to talk to their medical team about their condition and their preferences for care when it progresses.
You may find it hard to think about is how your going to afford palliative care, however it’s important to understand the options available to you. In many cases funding is available through the NHS continuing healthcare. For those nearing the end of their life, there is a fast track service.
Introduction agencies do exist within the palliative care sector, these agencies have become more popular over the past five years. Introduction agencies match you with professional carers and are generaly more affordable. Leading home care introduction agencies can offer 24-hour care at home for up to 30% less than a care home.
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Finding Palliative Care
The best source of palliative care will depend upon the type of support and care that your loved one needs. You could make use of the services of a reputable private agency to provide home care or your loved one could be cared for in a nursing home, a care home, a hospital or a hospice.
If you feel that your loved one might benefit from this type of care, you can get advice from their GP or other healthcare professionals, or you can speak to a care agency that specialises in home-based care.
This is the first step to finding out precisely what type of care your loved one will benefit from, what form this should take and where it should be carried out.
When planning palliative care, your loved one should always help to shape their care plan.
When funding care you should consider applying for relevant benefits, checking your eligibility for NHS funding, accessing local authority funding, and considering funding care with savings or other assets.
Your loved one may be eligible for funding from their local authority. Their financial situation will be discussed alongside care needs during their care assessment.
When it comes to funding the cost of home care, just like any other industry, there are unscrupulous companies out there looking to take advantage.
Always seek professional, regulated finacial advice when looking to self fund home care.
Do you need palliative care in Bristol?
How much do you pay for palliative care in Bristol?
Palliative care in Bristol can range from £15 to £30 per hour, depending on the type of home care that's required. Just like all other forms of home care, the cost of palliative care will vary depending on the type of care required, location and availability. In many cases funding for end of life care in Bristol is available through the NHS continuing healthcare. For those nearing the end of their life, there is a fast track service.
Is end of life care in Bristol the same as palliative care?
End-of-life care and palliative care are similar forms of care, but there are some differences. End of life care in the Bristol area involves care, support and treatment for someone near to the end of their life and is a vital form of palliative care. End of life care is provided for those who are believed to have a year or less left to live, but due to nature of some illness being undetected, some people only receive it for a very short period as timeframes are often difficult to predict.
How do I find good palliative care in Bristol?
To find good at home palliative care in Bristol, why not try our free, unbiased, transparent care search. Click one of the 'Compare Care' buttons spread around this website.