There are so many decisions that you and your senior make as you travel your caregiving journey. At some point, you’re going to need to make decisions about the care she wants to receive at the end of her life, too. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to talk about the various options available and get her input. But you might also be trying to determine if end-of-life care is right for her on your own. Regardless, these points can help.
So Often People Believe This Is the End
Moving your senior’s focus from curative therapies to end-of-life care does not mean that this is actually the end. What it does mean is that your family member may be tired of attempting to cure something that doesn’t have a cure any longer. Sometimes those types of treatments and therapies are exhausting or they’re only performed in hospitals or other settings that your senior doesn’t want to visit. Other options allow her to rest at home where she’s comfortable.
Quality of Life Is Key
The focus with end-of-life care is on quality of life. Maintaining that standard means focusing on managing symptoms rather than managing the illness itself. This is supportive care that allows your elderly family member’s needs and wants to be first on the list.
Your Senior Still Has Final Say
Your elderly family member can still engage in any therapies she still wants to try, but she’s not locked into any one treatment plan that doesn’t meet her needs. She may worry that trying options related to hospice may not allow her the freedom over her care at the end of her life that she truly wants. If she opts to try curative therapies when she’s stronger, she can still do that.
The Entire Family Can Benefit
Something else that gets overlooked in these decisions, especially by other family members, is that the entire family can benefit from palliative treatment options. These options are very holistic, often taking into account group dynamics and group needs, such as respite care, bereavement counseling, and much more. It’s easier for family members to be supportive when they’re being supported.
Determining when end-of-life care is the right option for your senior involves investigating all the options available to her. Your senior may decide that once she’s reached specific milestones in her health journey, it’s time for treatments that help her to maintain quality of life rather than seeking treatment.
If you or an aging parent is considering end-of-life care in Philadelphia, PA, please contact the caring staff at Serenity Hospice today. Call (215) 867-5405.