Few of us care to think about the inevitability of our own demise. We except that we are not immortal, however for the most part, we are successful in putting thoughts of our own death from our mind. When those close to us die, we painfully become aware of the fragility of life and as we contemplate our own mortality, two things become very clear. 1. We do not want a painful death, and 2. We do not want to die in hospital.
Circumstances may prevent us from achieving these goals – we may be involved in a traffic accident, become a victim of crime, suffer a heart attack or stroke and be taken to hospital; grateful for the technology and trained staff who will hopefully bring us back from the brink.
But what of the terminal patient who is beyond pulling back from the brink and whose journey is towards death not recovery. With no hope of a cure, their only hope is that they spend their last days at home with their loved ones.
Allowing for your terminally ill loved one to die at home is to give them a precious gift and one which will bring you the gift of peace after they have gone. If you would like to care for your loved one at home, ask your doctor to refer you to your nearest Palliative Care Organization and request that your loved one be placed under their care. Physical, practical, emotional and spiritual support is available to you through the services of highly trained and dedicated: Doctors, Nurses, Pain management Specialists Councillor’s, Volunteers and Chaplains who make up a Palliative Care Team.
Embracing the services of Palliative Care soon after diagnosis, does not mean that death is imminent, it simply means that you will ensure that your loved one has quality of life throughout their illness and for whatever time they are granted. Undeniably, Palliative Care is available to support families when death is near, however their services are equally intended to support the patient and their families as they journey through terminal illness.