Care at the End of Life
For many of us, home is where would like to spend our final days. This may not always be possible but supports are available to enable end-of-life care at home. You and your family may need advice on how to approach dying at home, if this is your wish. Seeking support from your local healthcare providers is essential.
If you’re spending your final days at home after being discharged from a healthcare facility, it can be helpful for your loved ones to prepare, both practically and emotionally. Our Caring for someone at the end of life at home: some practical information resource is there if you and those supporting you need it.
Most deaths in Ireland take place in hospitals and residential care settings, such as nursing homes. When death is anticipated, there are a number of aspects of care and practical considerations that you, family members and carers can prepare for. Our Dying in Hospital and Dying in a Nursing Home – what to expect booklets may be helpful at this difficult time.
Self-Care & Self-Compassion
In Palliative Care
Schedule. Planning for how and when self-care can be part of your overall care plan and can help to ensure that self-care is part of your everyday routine in the same way that other aspects of clinical care may be.
Plan. Plan to do things that you enjoy. That might be watching a movie, reading a book, listening to music, or going outside to sit in nature. Be kind to yourself, self-care.
Personalise. Self-care is a personal practice and means doing things that feel good to you. Reflecting on what kind of care you need and want and allowing yourself to try new approaches can expand your bank of self-care strategies.
Accept. Sometimes it can be tough for us to accept support but help from others can make space and time for self-care to take place. Let others know how and when their helping hands could be most useful to you.
Set goals. Setting goals for what you’d like to achieve through your self-care practice can be a great way of keeping you motivated.
Collaborate. Sharing plans for your self-care can be a way to get support in reaching your goals. If you need a little help in achieving self-care targets, inviting others to self-care with you can be a proactive solution.
Make it mobile. Sometimes items can support us to remain grounded during times of uncertainty (a smooth stone, a scented handkerchief, a song, etc.). Keeping an item like this with you throughout the day can be a way to access calmness when you need it, no matter where you may be.
Take stock. Reflecting on the people, places, and things that lift you up and the ones that deplete you is an important step towards setting limits and creating strategies for how you can reduce time with draining influences and maximise time with nourishing ones.
Stay connected. Keep in touch with friends or family members who can provide emotional support and practical help.
Myths about palliative care
Myth: Palliative care makes death happen sooner.
Fact: Palliative care is neither to postpone or hasten death. Palliative care is about care at the end of life, not about ending life.
Myth: Palliative care is only for people dying of cancer.
Fact: Palliative care is holistic care focused on relieving pain and other symptoms associated with serious illness, regardless of age, diagnosis, or stage of illness.
Myth: Palliative care is only provided in a hospital.
Fact: Palliative care can be provided in a variety of settings within communities such as a person’s home, residential care, and hospices.
Myth: Palliative Care is only suitable for people who most appropriate for patients who will likely die within weeks.
Fact: Palliative care focus holistically on social, physical, spiritual, and psychological care to improve quality of life whether that is for weeks, months, or years