- What is in-home palliative care?
- An Inspiring In-home Palliative Care Story
- In-home Palliative Care in Etobicoke, Mississauga, and Brampton
When a loved one is diagnosed with a serious illness, palliative care may become necessary to manage symptoms and maintain the patient’s quality of life. A palliative care plan also helps preserve their treatment preferences, allowing them control over how their care is managed.
A palliative care plan is often provided in conjunction with a curative healthcare plan. However, it also includes a strategy for someone nearing the final chapter of their life. This is called end-of-life care, which focuses on keeping the person safe, comfortable, and fulfilled during their last days.
Many people associate palliative and end-of-life care with hospitals and long-term health care facilities. However, we’re finding more people prefer these care plans to be carried out in their own home, surrounded by familiar things in a comfortable, reassuring environment.
What is in-home palliative care?
In-home palliative care involves visits by healthcare professionals, including personal support workers qualified to carry out care plans created by the patient and their healthcare team. Living at home independently helps the person feel more in control of their lives and may actually help slow down the progression of conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Staying home while receiving palliative care is also preferable for the person’s family. They get peace of mind knowing that their loved one is getting the same level of attention as they would in a hospital or long-term health care facility, but within the comfort of their own home.
When people think of palliative or end-of-life care, thoughts of sadness and foreboding commonly spring to mind. As difficult as this period is for families, we also see stories of hope and empowerment when our clients can live out their final days on their terms. Sarah* was one of those cherished clients.
An Inspiring In-home Palliative Care Story
In 2017, Sarah, who had been diagnosed with dementia, hired CareHop to help her manage her condition.
When we met her, we found Sarah to be fiercely independent and determined to remain in her home for as long as possible. Helping our clients live at home for as long as possible is one of our core philosophies. We developed a care plan aligned with her needs and matched her with our caregiver, Kalsang.
During the early phase of our relationship, Sarah insisted on doing everything independently, especially anything that involved personal care. Kalsang worked closely with Sarah to provide all the support she needed and introduced activities and strategies known to help slow the progression of her condition. Over time, Sarah and Kalsang had developed a close bond based on trust and deep friendship.
As the years passed, Sarah’s dementia began to worsen, and her overall condition began to decline. However, she steadfastly insisted on living at home. Kalsang continued supporting her under an amended care plan, and we also added two other caregivers, Neelam and Namgyal, to help provide Sarah with around-the-clock care.
Our caregivers took turns doing 12-hour shifts on a live-in basis to ensure Sarah had everything she needed to support her wish to stay home.
As much as Sarah was changing, many of her habits remained the same. She loved to read, so our caregivers brought her books to help keep her mind exercised. Sarah also loved jazz music, which our caregivers played for her to strengthen connections to the “real” world. Most of all, we realized how much Sarah loved food! Sarah never missed mealtimes, and the gleam in her eye when it was time for a favourite dish brought a tear to our eyes.
However, as Sarah entered her final days, her love of food started to decline slowly. Her zest for mealtime wasn’t what it used to be. At this point, the whole team felt that the end was near.
On Sarah’s last evening, Namgyal called Sarah’s care manager, Amanda, to report that Sarah didn’t look well and had lost her appetite. Amanda arrived at Sarah’s house the following day to find Sarah peacefully lying in bed. Kalsang was gently patting Sarah’s head, telling her that everything was going to be alright. Amanda and Kalsang thought Sarah might enjoy a little jazz music, so they placed the music close to her ear. Sarah’s breathing became calmer after hearing the music and shortly after, with Amanda and Kalsang by her side, she passed away, accompanied by soft jazz and the love of her caregivers, in the peace and comfort of her own home.
In-home Palliative Care in Etobicoke, Mississauga, and Brampton
We understand that palliative and end-of-life care planning can carry significant emotional weight and, therefore, be difficult to discuss. Our care providers are here to support you and take much of the burden of care planning away with customized plans that focus on what’s best for your loved one.
Our care team is thoroughly trained and qualified to provide care and support aligned with your loved one’s social, psychological, and spiritual needs. We’re available 24/7 to provide compassionate, respectful support to both your loved one and your family. Our mission is to ensure that your loved one is safe and protected while we fulfill their needs during this period of transition. We’ll always strive to bring joy and sunshine into their home, offer a sympathetic ear, and provide quality healthcare services with a smile and happy demeanour.
If you would like more information about our palliative care services, please reach out to us anytime. We’d love to discuss how our approach to quality elder care can support your loved one and family.
*Name changed to protect our client’s privacy