About care homes
Our highly trained colleagues deliver person-centred care for residents at every stage of their care journey. Palliative care is specialised support for people living with an illness that can’t be cured. Its aims are to make people as comfortable as possible and support them to live an active life for as long as they can.
No, palliative care and end of life care are not the same. While palliative care supports individuals by managing symptoms of illness and making them more comfortable, it can be provided at any stage after a person receives a diagnosis, including alongside other therapies or treatments. End of life care is just one form of palliative care, and it is provided to people in the last months or weeks of their life.
Read more about the dignified and comfortable end of life care we provide at Care UK.
Palliative care focuses on emotional, physical and practical needs. These include a holistic range of treatments, from offering spiritual support to managing pain and planning for the future.
Like end of life care, palliative care also involves supporting an individual’s loved ones, including friends and family, and it can be provided in a care home.
The types of palliative care include:
Most people who receive palliative care have a chronic condition like cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic respiratory disease or diabetes. A number of other conditions might require palliative care, from dementia to multiple sclerosis to Parkinson’s disease.
Through palliative care, pain and other symptoms of these conditions, like difficulty breathing or eating problems, are managed.
As well as supporting with physical and emotional symptoms, the holistic nature of palliative care involves providing practical support. This could include:
If you or your loved one are planning for the future, you might want to consider making an end of life care plan, which will address these important legal and practical factors, such as creating a lasting power of attorney and ensuring your wishes about where you would like to receive care and where you want to die are recorded.
These discussions are sometimes called advance care planning. While they may be difficult, they’re important to ensure you or your loved one’s care in your last days is tailored to your wishes.
We’re proud that many of our care homes have received or are working towards accreditation with the Gold Standards Framework, meaning they offer the highest standards of care to people at the end of their life.
We work closely with residents and their families to understand each individual’s wishes for their final days and hours, and by implementing these we can avoid upsetting or unwanted hospitalisations at the end. We also provide practical and emotional support for families, even after a loved one’s death.
Palliative care is offered from the moment you or your loved one learn you have a life-limiting illness. This means that some people receive palliative care for years, including while they have other treatments.
An individual can receive palliative care at any point after they receive a diagnosis of an incurable illness. If they are thought to be in the last months or weeks of their life, they may receive end of life care rather than palliative care.
Anyone living with an incurable illness – as well as that person’s family and friends – can receive palliative care.