What Are My Options at the End of Life?
As with anything in life there are options, the same is true for the end of life. The “right” answer varies from person to person, depending on what the patient and his or her family consider makes the most sense. Some things to consider before weighing out your options are:
- Do I want to continue receiving curative treatment?
- What level of care do I need based on my illness?
- Are family and friends available to help?
- How will the cost be managed
One of the first things you get to decide is… what type care is the right one?
If you are still benefiting from curative treatment, one option is Palliative Care. Palliative care is comprehensive treatment of the pain, symptoms and stress of serious or life-limiting illness. It does not replace a patient’s primary treatment, but rather works together with the treatment they are already receiving.
If you are no longer benefiting from curative treatment, another option is Hospice. Hospice is a specialized program of care and services for you or someone you love who has a life-limiting or advanced illness. Hospice focuses on “comfort,” not curing, with special consideration and attention given to a patient’s physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. Depending on your needs and diagnosis, there are different levels of care available.
You also have the option of where to receive your care
Hospice and Palliative care services can be provided in a variety of settings to ensure the patients has access to them when and where they need them. Patients can receive hospice or palliative care in their homes, assisted living communities, nursing homes, inpatient facilities, hospice residences or in a hospital.
You have the option to decide on how your medical treatment will be provided
These are important details that can be addressed by making an Advance Care Plan. Important things like, who will make medical decisions on your behalf should you not be able to? what kind of medical treatment are you willing to accept? and what you will refuse? how do you want your pain to be managed? will you want to receive CPR?
Get started on your advanced care plan