End of Life Care in Ravenswood, WV
Find out more about why end of life care is important for Ravenwood seniors.
Surveys consistently show that Americans believe that end of life care conversations are important. However, less than one-third of families actually have that conversation. Even fewer follow through with the paperwork that documents and makes those conversations official, such as living wills, advanced directives, and medical powers of attorney.
End of life care is designed to make an individual's expected final six months of life as pleasant, joyful, and pain-free as possible. It includes decisions on pain management, palliative care options, the extent of medical interventions, options for experimental treatments, and even the availability and use of routine medical care. Both medical and non-medical care providers may have their hands tied without specific documents available to tell them what they can and cannot do. Further, without proper planning, a senior may find themselves in the midst of a family squabble as family members argue about the type or range of treatments that are available, including the use of life support.
Remaining at home with End of Life Care
When seniors choose to remain at home during their final times, end of life care decisions become even more important. Research suggests that seniors may be happier and healthier when their care occurs at home, but there are also limitations that must be addressed. For example, medical staff will not have the level of contact they would in an institutional setting. This makes caregiver observations and information much more important. There may also be limitations on the pain management options that are available based on local and state laws. It is better to have this information early on have a plan of action in place well in advance.
Non-medical components to end of life care are also essential. When family members are focused on their senior loved one, they may not be in the physical or emotional state to worry about housekeeping, laundry, meal preparations, running errands, and so forth. Further, they may not be able to provide the personal care required, including eating support, toileting, bathing, grooming, and dressing. In addition to the physical supports that are provided by in-home caregivers, the emotional support that comes from sharing tasks, talking, and taking advantage of a compassionate shoulder are invaluable.
In short, end of life care is an essential component to dying with dignity. Americans seem to understand this intellectually, but when it comes to follow-through, most come up short. For more information on the many ways Comfort Keepers can help you and your senior loved one with care, contact a senior care coordinator today.