When someone you love is approaching the end of their life it can be a very difficult and distressing time both for them and those around them. This is why we are on hand to help make their last few weeks or days that bit more comfortable for them with our end of life care. If someone has a life-limiting condition, it is important to plan for the end of life. While it is hard to face and do, it will make it easier for everyone involved when the time comes. It is important to have the conversations as early as possible so you can register their values, wishes and beliefs in the case of you needing to make decisions on their behalf if they can no longer do so. End of life care is there to support someone in the end stages of a life-limiting condition and helps them live as well as possible until they die, supporting families both during and after this time.
Where can I find end of life care near me?
Our end of life care spans throughout the country. We provide end of life care in Wolverhampton, Dudley, Walsall, Sandwell, Cannock, South Stafford, Telford, Birmingham and more. You can find the full list of locations here.
We know that at the end of life no two scenarios or wishes are the same. Some people have death come suddenly, some people gradually fade away, others have their mind remain alert and their body weaken, or they experience loss of cognitive function and a stronger body. Whatever the case, our end of life care nurses and support team are here to care for the person for days, weeks and even months before death.
Being a caregiver at the end of someone’s life can be both physically and emotionally exhausting, which is why we are here to help in any way possible. Some of main ways we help someone reaching the end of their life is to monitor, adjust and review the following:
If they are in pain – When you know a loved one is nearing the end of their life it can be a hard-enough experience anyway, without thinking of them in pain. While pain doesn’t happen to everyone, we can help if it does. Pain is easier to prevent than relieve, so we will ensure their level of pain doesn’t get ahead of pain-relief and will control it, so it is managed as efficiently as possible.
If they are having any breathing difficulties – When someone is nearing the end of their life, it is common to experience something called dyspnoea which is difficulty breathing. We can help to alleviate this by raising the head of the bed, opening windows and advising pain medicines that can help relieve some of the senses of breathlessness.They may also experience noisy “rattle breathing” which is caused by throat muscles relaxing or fluids collecting in the throat. This is nothing to worry about and is perfectly natural but can sound frightening to any loved ones listening. We will try and ease this.
If they are experiencing skin irritation – Skin problems can be very uncomfortable and become more of an issue when someone is bed bound and nearing the end of their life – particularly if they are older where the skin is naturally more fragile and dry. We will turn the person from side to back and to the other side every few hours to prevent bed sores and can advise on special mattresses or chair cushions to help rid them of pressure on the skin. We can also moisturize them regularly, particularly on the skin of their face and ensure their mouth isn’t too dry. We will do anything we can to make sure they are comfortable and cared for.
If they are having temperature sensitivity – If someone is nearing the end of their life it can be difficult to communicate their temperature. We will help you with keeping an eye on their temperature and gauge if they are too hot or too cold. We will use these signs and adjust the room or how the person is to get them to a more comfortable temperature.
If they are experiencing digestive problems – Losing your appetite is a common part of someone who is nearing the end of the life. If they are hungry, we can help with feeding them and if they are experiencing nausea, constipation or vomiting we can help with medicines for this.
If they are suffering from fatigue – Fatigue is another very common sign and it’s important to help your loved one preserve their energy if they are feeling very weak and tired. We can assist with a bedside commode, shower stool or sponging off in bed to avoid them having to walk to the bathroom.
With our end of life care service, we will also help the person reaching the end of their life manage their mental health. It is a distressing time and encouraging feelings about what is happening can help. They might have specific fears and concerns, or have spiritual needs as well as physical concerns. We are here for you every step of the way, providing our expertise, care and compassion when you need it the most.