Home health care for end-of-life patients

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For patients with a terminal diagnosis, it can be much more pleasant to spend their final days at home, surrounded by family and friends, instead of a sterile hospital. But if you are bringing home a family member for their last days, it can be useful to have a home health care service organised to help you manage their care. 

Here are some of the services that home health care workers can offer to make this time easier. 

Administering pain relief

Many terminal diseases, such as end-stage cancer, can be incredibly painful. Home health care providers can help administer strong pain relief. They can also continually review the effectiveness of the pain medications and dosages so that stronger medications and higher doses can be prescribed when needed. Pain relief is an important part of ensuring that the patients are comfortable in the last days and can spend quality time with their loved ones without the distraction of pain. 

Administering final treatments

While palliative care patients accept their terminal diagnosis, part of the treatment can often include taking medications that slow the progression of the disease by some degree. This can allow patients to have a little more time with their families, which can often be useful, especially if the patient is waiting for certain events such as seeing the birth of a new grandchild or seeing a child who is returning home. These treatments are administered by a medical professional such as a home health care worker and can help to ensure that the patient meets their goals in the last days.

Respite for the family

Caring for someone with a chronic illness can often be tiring, especially when you need to do physical tasks such as emptying bedpans and transferring the patient to change bed linens. Home health care workers can assist with some of these tasks to allow the family a chance to get some rest and recharge. 

Liaison with doctors and authorities

It can be very stressful for family members to deal with a variety of doctors and medical professionals in the final days. Home health care workers can be an excellent liaison with other medical staff to relieve some of the pressure on the family. When the patient finally passes away, they can also call the ambulance or mortuary which can help to alleviate some stress for the family. 

If you are organising to care for an end-of-life patient in your home it can be useful to organise in-home health care service.