Care priorities can change in the final stages of many terminal illnesses.  Instead of ongoing curative treatment, the focus often changes to palliative care for the relief of symptoms, pain and emotional stress. It will require more than just a range of care choices to ensure a person’s final months, weeks, or days are as good as they can be.  Anticipating the requirements of end of life caregiving, can help ease the journey for your loved one, family, friends and carers.

Some people prefer to remain at home in the final stages of life, in comfortable surroundings with family and friends close by.  A terminally ill person’s deteriorating condition, increased physical safety needs, and the 24-hour demands of final-stage care, often mean the primary caregiver will need additional in-home help.

Some questions to ask yourself when deciding to undertake end of life care for a loved one:

  • Has your loved one expressed their preferences for end of life care that include staying at home?
  • Is qualified, reliable support available to ensure 24 hour care?
  • Will your home accommodate a hospital bed, wheelchair, and bedside commode if required?
  • Are transportation services available to meet daily requirements and emergencies?
  • Is professional medical assistance easily accessible for routine and emergency care?
  • Are you able to lift, turn, and move the person?
  • Can you meet your other family and work responsibilities as well as the person’s needs?

Are you emotionally prepared to provide end of life care?

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