How does palliative care work?

If a loved one has recently been given a terminal diagnosis, you might be extremely upset. One of your main concerns will be ensuring they receive the care they need so they can continue to be comfortable and pain-free for as long as possible.

But how does palliative care work and what do you have to do to make sure your loved one is cared for so they can retain their dignity? 

In this article, we’re going to answer many common questions about palliative care, so you can make the first steps towards providing your loved one with the experienced and personalised care they need.

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What is included in palliative care?

Palliative care is given to make sure your loved one has around-the-clock access to care so they can receive everything they need. This allows them to retain their dignity and remain as comfortable and pain-free as possible.

At Ashberry Care Homes, our dedicated and empathetic team of carers has experience in supporting residents who require palliative care. Because every resident is different, care often varies greatly, but can include elements of the following:

  • 24-hour access to personalised care
  • One-on-one care
  • Pain and symptom management
  • Social interaction
  • Open communication and decision-making
  • Emotional support
  • A focus on quality of life
  • Family and friend support, including during bereavement

Of course, when cared for in a care home, your loved one will also have access to the huge range of facilities, services and care provided to all residents, including three freshly-cooked meals a day (as well as snacks and drinks) and a range of activities put together by an in-house activities coordinator. This helps keep their mind active and encourages them to keep doing what they love.

When does palliative care begin?

Palliative care can begin at any time following a terminal diagnosis. This can be during active treatment, as palliative care isn’t limited to only treating those who require end of life care.

Even if your loved one doesn’t require 24/7 care, initiating palliative care will ensure they have access to everything they need now and as their illness progresses. We recommend discussing this with your loved one and other family members so you can agree on when to initiate care to give them the level of support that they need.

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How long does palliative care last?

After your loved one is given a terminal diagnosis, you may ask how long does palliative care last? Unfortunately, this is a difficult question to answer, as the length of time palliative care is needed depends on your loved one’s circumstances. This might include the type and progression of their illness, their treatment plan and goals, and other aspects related to their wellbeing.

The only true answer to this question is, palliative care lasts for as long as it needs to last. At Ashberry, we ensure that quality and dedication never waivers no matter how long the duration.

Our approach to palliative care

We know that when a loved one receives palliative care it can be an incredibly difficult time. Not just for your loved one, but also for yourself and other loved ones. 

That’s why we ensure the palliative care we offer is personal and empathetic. Yes, we provide one-on-one care for your loved one, but this also extends to you, so you’re never kept out of the loop. We make sure we listen and adapt our approach based on individual needs. Your loved one’s needs are different, so why shouldn’t the care they receive be that way too?

How to organise palliative care for a loved one

Following a terminal diagnosis, you might be keen to provide your loved one with the palliative care they need so that they can be comfortable and pain-free, and receive the treatment they need in the right environment.

After researching local care homes, we would recommend speaking to your chosen home as soon as possible so you can arrange a visit and introduce them to your loved one. You can speak to the palliative team and find out about the care they will receive as well as the other services the home offers.

You will also need to consider the cost of palliative care. Can your loved one pay for their own care, will you pay for it, or will you apply for a personal health budget? Once this has been worked out, you can create a plan with your chosen palliative care team.

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Which Ashberry Care Homes offer palliative care?

We have a number of care homes across the UK, and each has a team of fully trained, dedicated and experiences carers:

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For more information about how we can provide palliative care for your loved one,  contact us today.

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