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6 end-of-life care options to know if you or a loved one is ill

No one wants to think about themselves or a loved one after their lives. When it comes down to it, end-of-life care is another important way of mentally and physically caring for a person's health . "It's about finding the right fit and putting together a team to help you achieve your goals," says Scott Kaiser, MD, a family doctor and geriatrician at the Providence Saint John Health Center in Santa Monica, California, opposite SELF. These goals usually include satisfying someone with an incurable disease in their own environment or providing a comprehensive care community when support at home is no longer sufficient, but with some nuances, depending on the specific situation.

If you care for yourself or a loved one, you'll likely find terms that you're not familiar with. This can be intimidating. Here's the information you need to know about life-termination options.

. 1

Hospice is designed to provide symptom relief and general health care in situations where the doctor believes that he will still have to live after about six or fewer months, according to the National Institute on Aging (NIA). For this reason, it is intended only for people with incurable severe illness, such as terminal cancer who has discontinued treatment to cure his disease or to slow down progress. "However, you will not be kicked out of the hospice if you live longer than [six months]," says Jeffrey Landsman, a family doctor specializing in medical care at Mercy Medical Center, the SELF hospice.

in various environments, such as being provided at home to a person or in a facility such as a nursing home, a hospital or a hospice center, says the NIA . In any case, it relies on a team of nurses, doctors, social workers, spiritual counselors and trained volunteers to provide medical, emotional and spiritual support to the patient, as stated by the NIA . "Hospice is all about improving patient comfort," says Martha Twaddle, Medical Director of Palliative Care and Nursing Care at Northwestern Medicine – Lake Forest Hospital, told SELF.

Members of the hospice team attend regular care. For example, a nurse might come to visit once or twice a week while being supplemented by a medical assistant who comes more often. Dr. Landman adds, "They call the doctor if they think a patient needs more medication or medication and will come more frequently as the symptoms change. "Even if no one is physically there, someone from the Hospice team should be available by phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help," NIA says.

. 2 Palliative care

Like a hospice, palliative care can be provided at home, in a hospital, in a sheltered home, or in a nursing home, says the NIA . And like the hospice, it will also help people suffering from serious illnesses such as heart failure, cancer or Alzheimer's disease (19459025). Unlike the hospice, people who opt for palliative care can also receive treatment that seeks to cure (or slow down) their illness while taking care of their symptoms, says NIA . It also does not require that a person have a diagnosis of six or fewer months to live to receive care. "Palliative care patients could live years, not months," says Dr. Twaddle.

Palliative care relies on a multidisciplinary team that works with the patient, his family and other physicians for medical, social, emotional and medical purposes, says the NIA . This team can consist of specialized doctors and nurses, social workers, nutritionists and pastors. The goal is to provide a comprehensive care that helps in a variety of ways to facilitate a person's life.

A person may begin palliative care as soon as they receive the diagnosis of a serious health condition. When they come to a point where their medical team believes that medical treatments are no longer used to manage the disease or slow the disease, they can continue palliative care, with a focus on pain relief or moving to a hospice lies. Nursing Homes

"Many people say that they prefer to have home-based care, but someone may need to go to a nursing home if their needs surpass the ability of their caregiver have to take care of them at home, "Dr. Twaddle.

In a difficult situation, pension and nursing homes are an option. (Sometimes referred to as residential or group homes.) These small, private facilities typically have 20 or fewer residents receiving personal care and meals, and the staff is available 24/7, NIA says , However, more intensive care – such as care and medical care – is usually offered outside of facilities.

. 4 Assisted Living Facilities

People living in assisted living facilities usually have their own apartments or rooms with shared common areas, says the NIA . There they receive help with day-to-day care (meals, medicines, household, etc.) from on-site 24-hour staff, but not as much as they normally would in a nursing home, the NIA . However, there may be some levels of care where people pay more for more support, according to the NIA .

Assisted living facilities can offer activities to keep people active and engaged. as well as social and recreational activities, says the NIA .

. 5 Nursing Homes

Nursing homes focus more on medical care than a typical assisted living facility, but they also offer personal care services, such as three meals a day for residents and support for daily activities, according to the NIA . There may also be rehabilitation services such as body and speech therapy as well as recreational activities.

Some people go to a nursing home after hospitalization as a transition, but most people live there constantly because they need ongoing care. the NIA says

6. Retirement communities

These usually offer different services in one place, says the NIA . Many have independent flats through flats or homes, assisted living and care, all in the same place. As a rule, health and leisure programs are also offered. "People may be living in a continuing nursing home community," says Dr. Twaddle. That is, they can start in an independent home, move into a home with supervised residential care, and then go to a nursing home on the same campus.

Whatever you choose for yourself or your loved ones, the doctor stresses Plan to anticipate whenever possible.

You can apply for a hospice, for example, even if you are not sure if this is an option that you want to use now or at all. "Early and later consultation of a hospice is a good thing," says Dr. Emperor. "Then you can have a transfer and choose whether you want to enroll or not."

If you take as much time as you can to organize logistics, it's really an act of kindness. There is much to do between emotional stress and identifying things such as how you pay for this care, as the details of what Medicare, Medicaid and the private insurance can do and do not cover may vary based on the situation. This also gives you time to find the best possible care for yourself or your loved one instead of starting with what is available because you have no time.

Many people near the end of their lives Anyone who is not in a hospice or palliative care unit will end up in the emergency room or will be hospitalized if the symptoms get worse, and without proper preparation, this prospect may be for everyone involved be incredibly stressful Emperor. "That's a real shame," he says. "Then people will not get the care they want."

If you are not sure what is best for you or your loved one, talk to your family doctor . You should be able to answer your questions and guide you to the right choice for you or your loved one.


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