End Of Life Care
What is End of Life Care?
There are a number of terms used when describing care that people may need as they approach the end of life. There is a lot of overlap and often they are used synonymously so it can be confusing.
End of life care is about the total care of a person with an advanced incurable illness and does not just equate with passing away. The end of life care phase may last for weeks, months or years.
End of Life Care is defined as care that helps those with advanced, progressive, incurable illness to live as well as possible until they pass away.
What End of Life Care Involves
End of life care is support for people who are approaching death. It helps them to live as well as possible until they pass away, and to pass away with dignity. It also includes support for their family or carers.
End of life care includes palliative care. If you have an incurable illness, palliative care will make you as comfortable as possible by controlling pain and other distressing symptoms, while providing psychological, social and spiritual support for you and your family or carers. This is called a holistic approach, as it deals with the "whole" person rather than just one aspect of care.
You may receive palliative care early in the course of your illness, together with other therapies to treat your condition, such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy, before you are considered to be nearing the end of your life.