Palliative Care at Home
- Whether you’re looking into palliative care for yourself or a loved one, you probably have many questions.
- What is palliative care?
- What’s the difference between palliative care vs. hospice care?
- What are the benefits of palliative care?
Here’s what you need to know about palliative care.
What is Palliative Care?
What Is Included in Palliative Care?Palliative care includes things like :
- Symptom management
- Advice and support
- Home help with meals, transportation, and shopping
- Referrals to other doctors to help you manage physical or emotional symptoms
- Care techniques that improve your sense of well-being and comfort
- Educating family members about the illness, medications, and treatment
- Advanced care planning
- Respite care for caregivers
When should someone be offered palliative care?Palliative care is appropriate for people at any stage of a serious disease such as cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, dementia, heart failure, Huntingdon’s disease, MS, kidney disease, liver disease, organ failure, Parkinson’s disease or stroke. With the goal of improving quality of life; increase overall comfort; provide emotional support for client and the family.
What Is Hospice Care?Hospice care is a type of palliative care that focuses on the comfort, care, and quality of life of a person with a serious illness who has less than 6 months to live and has chosen to stop pursuing treatment that may extend their life.
Palliative Care Vs. Hospice Care
Since hospice care is a type of palliative care, there is much overlap between the two care types. However, with palliative care, a patient can continue treatments to battle their illness and try to overcome it or extend their life. Hospice care is only available to people who a doctor has said have less than 6 months to live and who have chosen to stop any treatments that may extend their life.
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When Should Someone Be Offered Palliative Care?
Palliative care is appropriate for people at any stage of a serious disease such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart disease, cystic fibrosis, lung disease, kidney failure, or stroke.
When Is it Time to Switch from Palliative Care to Hospice Care?
Hospice care is specifically for people whose doctor has told them they likely have less than 6 months to live and who have decided not to pursue further life-prolonging treatment.
Providing exceptional Palliative Care at Home for seniors and families in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Devon, St. Albert, Edmonton, Onoway, Leduc, Parkland County and surrounding areas.
What Issues Are Addressed With Palliative Care?
Palliative care addresses many issues. These are some of the top areas palliative care helps people with:
In addition to helping people manage symptoms of their illness, palliative care can also help people experiencing severe side effects from their treatment. Types of physical symptoms palliative care may address include pain, loss of appetite, vomiting, nausea, fatigue, shortness of breath, and insomnia.
Some people find being diagnosed with a severe, potentially life-threatening disease brings them closer to their religion, while others may start questioning their faith.
Emotional and Coping
Anxiety, depression, fear, and other emotions often accompany a new diagnosis. Palliative care experts can help connect patients and their families to resources that can help them cope with these emotions.
Palliative care specialists can help with practical needs like insurance questions, legal or financial concerns, employment worries, and discussing care goals.
Family members caring for a person with a severe illness also have needs that palliative care can assist with, such as respite care and emotional support.
Benefits of Palliative Care
Palliative care has been shown to have numerous benefits. While much of the research centres around patients with cancer, palliative care is appropriate and helpful for many types of severe illnesses.
Improved Quality of Life
One of the most significant benefits of palliative care is an improved quality of life. According to the authors of one study:
“Among patients with metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer, early palliative care led to significant improvements in both quality of life and mood. As compared with patients receiving standard care, patients receiving early palliative care had less aggressive care at the end of life but longer survival.”
Helps You Match Treatment Options to Your Goals
A palliative care team can help you match your goals with your treatment options and pass your wishes along to your doctors and the rest of your care team, giving you more control over the care you receive.
Relieves Suffering from Stress and Symptoms
Palliative care helps relieve symptoms caused by the disease itself, treatment of the illness, and the stress you or your loved one may be experiencing while fighting the illness. This, in turn, helps improve the patient’s quality of life.
Works Together With Other Treatments
Since it works together with other treatments (rather than replacing them) and helps coordinate all your doctors, palliative care can help make your treatment more effective and easier to bear.
Frequently Asked Questions About Palliative Care at Home
This is care that primarily focuses on helping our seniors to stay in their homes, with their routines but with pockets of extra help. In home care provides practical support with a personal touch. Our compassionate caregivers will assist elderly clients with common activities of daily living like cooking together, light housekeeping, errands and transportation.
We have specific guidelines that we must follow as a non-medical service provider. Our clients must be fairly mobile, as we can only provide limited help with stabilization and transferring. We also cannot administer medications, but only provide reminders to our clients unless medications are in a blister pack.
Most often, the responsibility of care falls upon loved ones suddenly, and the responsibility can be very challenging and strenuous, and overwhelming on the caregiver. Using the services of Serving Hands allows seniors to get the support and care they need and relieves loved ones of the stress or guilt. Our compassionate caregivers allow families to be able to enjoy wives being wives, or children being children and not have to carry the care burden alone. However, you know your family best and we want to work together with you towards providing the best assistance your loved one needs and desires, so that our clients are comfortable with our role as their caregiver, giving families peace of mind.
Getting started with Serving Hands Senior Care is easy. Finding home care for yourself or a loved one often begins with one simple question – “Where do I begin?” By answering a few questions about who needs care and their current situation, our online “Get Started” form will help our staff get connected with your family to discuss your needs. OR call our office @780-963-1516
Whether home care is required immediately, or you’re simply researching options, Serving Hands Senior Care is a great place to start. Talk to our caring staff today for a FREE care consultation.
A Care Coordinator will then create custom care plan. This care plan will be personalized according to your loved one’s unique care needs and preferences. Once the consultation and care plan are complete, Serving Hands Senior Care will then match you with a caregiver.
Bathing and Grooming
At Serving Hands Senior Care, our palliative care workers help you look and feel your best. They make bath time, grooming and personal care services just right for enhancing mental as well physical wellbeing. Feeling clean and fresh not only cleanses the skin but also provides relaxation and stimulates circulation, as well as enhancing self-esteem.
Repositioning and Transferring
Our caregivers are trained to move and place clients in correct posture / position so they can promote better health. This reduces the risk of skin damage, encourages proper breathing patterns, takes stress off pressure points, and helps with digestion.
Toileting and Incontinence Assistance
At Serving Hands Senior Care, our caregivers respectfully, and gently care for seniors, helping them maintain dignity while they get help with toileting and incontinence issues. Because we use a dignified approach and a caring attitude- our caregivers help to decrease embarrassment surrounding the need for assistance related to incontinence and toileting.
Feeding and Nutrition
Seniors may need help feeding themselves or even being prompted to eat. This loss of natural hunger urges or of functional ability can be physically and mentally challenging to accept. We understand this and take the time to turn mealtime into an enjoyable experience.
Serving Hands caregivers help seniors stay on specific diets to assist with a wide variety of medical conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Our caregivers enable clients to have a well-balanced meal that provides the nutrition needed for staying active and preventing further disease issues.
Yes, we do try to keep the same caregiver visiting our clients each time. It allows them to build a relationship of trust with their clients. However, if a client requires more than 6hrs/week of care we will then generally assign 2-4 caregivers.
During a selection process we conduct a telephone interview, followed by an interview in person. All candidates must also have an in-depth criminal record check, including the vulnerable sector search, and have a minimum of 2 professional business references and be bondable. Our caregivers are all insured and are covered by WCB.
It is possible, as there are different insurance plans that cover our services. Always verify with your own insurance company what coverage is available to you before using any health services. Clients are responsible for reimbursement from their insurance company as Serving Hands is not able to work directly with insurance companies at this time.
We sure can!
Find out which benefits you qualify for @ www.canadabenefits.gc.ca
Alberta Seniors Benefit Program (Special Needs Assistance for Seniors – SNA)
The Office of Alberta Health Advocate:
Compassionate Care Benefits 1-800-206-7218
You may receive benefits if you have to be absent from work to provide care to a gravely ill family member at risk of dying.
Alzheimer Society of Canada (Dementia)
The Arthritis Society
Canadian Diabetes Association 1-800-226-8464
Canadian Cancer Society Helpline
Find a Physician
Parkinson Society of Canada
Heart and Stroke Foundation
Veteran Affairs Canada 1-866-522-2122
Veterans Review and Appeal Board 1-800-450-8006
Learn what sets us apart from the rest. Our mission, vision, values and training have allowed us to shine above the rest.
Serving Hands Senior Care provides 24-hour home care, skilled nursing and compassionate caregivers so you have the peace of mind knowing your loved ones are covered.
What to Look for When Hiring a Home Health Palliative Care Provider
When looking for a palliative home health care provider, here are some questions you should ask:
- Are you licenced?
- What type of employee screening do you do?
- Do your home health aides have references?
- How do you train and monitor caregivers?
- How do you handle billing?
- When will services be provided?
Types of Palliative Care We Provide
Personal Care Services
- Respite Care
- Bathing, Grooming & Hygiene
- Oral Care
- Dressing, Undressing
- Wheelchair/walker assistance & Transfers
- Ambulation Assistance
- Incontinence Care, Toileting Assistance
- Medication Reminders & Assistance
- Healthy Meal Preparation
- Feeding Assistance
- Light Housekeeping & Laundry
- Errands & Grocery Shopping
- Comforting Companionship (sharing a good book, games, movies)
Companionship – at home, hospital or care facility
- Sharing a good book/newspaper
- Watching a movie, playing card games
- Encouraging exercise
- Medication reminders
- Preparing/sharing a meal, including clean up
- Light housekeeping
- Changing bed linens
- Lawn Care
- Snow Removal
- Companion Transportation