Before all of the medical advances of the past few decades, most people died at home. Today, most people will find themselves in a hospital or a nursing home at or near the end of their life. Some may be admitted to the hospital to receive treatment for an illness, while others may have already been living in a nursing home. More and more people are now turning to hospice for end of life care.
Everyone doesn’t get the opportunity to choose where they want to die, and of course there is no one best or right place. Each situation is different, but, if given the choice, each person and/or his or her family need to consider a few things.
- What type of care makes the most sense
- The best place to receive the chosen care type
- Are family and friends available to help
- How to manage the costs
Hospitals and nursing homes are the two most obvious end of life care facilities – but are they right for everyone? Let’s take a look at both them now.
Hospitals: One advantage a hospital setting provides is the around the clock availability of trained medical personnel. This can provide a sense of security for both the patient and the family and loved ones. The lack of privacy can be one of the biggest drawbacks to hospital care.
Nursing Homes: Nursing homes are a popular choice for end of life care. Like a hospital, a skilled nursing staff is always available – however, unlike a hospital, a doctor is not always in the building. One big advantage is that the plans for end of life care can be arranged ahead of time, making it much easier for care to be provided when the time comes. The care can have a more personalized feel when compared to hospitals, however, there are still issues and concerns about privacy.
At Home Care
The most familiar and comfortable setting for someone who needs end of life care will be at home. Visiting hours can be whenever you want so family, friends, and loved ones can come and go whenever you like. At home care can also put physical, emotional, and financial stress on the care providers. Providing care at home also has many benefits and can be a very rewarding endeavor.
There are many things to consider before deciding on at home care. Arrangements for nursing services and special equipment will need to be made. Be sure to check with the insurance company to determine if a doctor will need to order any services or equipment. Also work closely with a doctor to determine exactly what kind of support and care will need to be provided at home. A doctor will need to be available to adjust the patient’s treatment plan, order new services and medicines as they may be needed.