Receiving a terminal diagnosis is always extremely difficult for patients and their loved ones. Palliative care focuses on helping one to deal with the diagnosis, whilst reducing the symptoms and pain that come with the illness. Patients receiving palliative care are usually cared for by trained nurses who have the qualifications to perform certain medical procedures. However, professional carers can also help to prepare meals, assist with personal hygiene, household tasks, and offer much needed emotional support.
What Support Can You Expect from Palliative Care?
The main aim of palliative care is to treat a patient’s symptoms, such as nausea, pain, and others that are associated with terminal illnesses. Nurses will be able to explain the goals of the treatment and help you or your loved one to understand the diagnosis that the doctor has given. Attending to both the emotional and spiritual needs of the patient as well as their loved ones is also an integral part of a palliative carer’s role.
If you have questions, don’t be afraid to ask your professional carer or nurse, they are there to help and relieve any concerns that you may have. Likewise, it is essential to notify the nurse of any pain you or your loved one is experiencing, even if they think the pain is minor. It is important to note that palliative care and medication neither postpone nor hastens death, but instead helps patients and their families to cope physically and emotionally with the diagnosis.
What’s the Difference Between Palliative Care at Home and in a Hospice?
Palliative care is given to support patients with a terminal diagnosis at every stage of their illness, whilst care in a hospice is given only to those who are expected to live for less than 6 months. Choosing to receive palliative care at home, rather than in a specialist institution, does not mean that you will not have 24-hour support or that you won’t be visited by medical professionals. A live-in care nurse or professional carer can be arranged through a care provider to look after you or your loved one round-the-clock, and they can either visit you simultaneously or separately depending on your care needs and budget.
There is also a great cost difference between hospice care and in-home palliative care. According to the terminal illness support charity Marie Curie, hospice care can cost as much as £425 a day, totalling almost £3000 per week. Home care can, therefore, be the more affordable option and a better fit for one’s circumstances. The cost of a live-in care professional is between £690-£1100 per week and a live-in nurse can range from £2000-£2500 a week depending on your needs. If you only require support during specific hours, care can cost approximately £50 per hour for a nurse. Home care is more personalised, as you are able to meet your professional carer or nurse before care commences. At Cera, we make sure to match care professionals to each individual’s preferences, specific care needs, and personality so that they’ll be able to bond with them and feel as comfortable as possible.
For more information about palliative care options, please call our dedicated care coordinators on 020 3034 4500.