“Our ultimate goal, after all, is not a good death but a good life to the very end.” ― Atul Gawande, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End
Palliative and End of Life care is care that helps all those with advanced, progressive, or incurable illness to live as well as possible until they die. It enables the supportive and palliative care needs of both the patient and family to be identified and met throughout the last phase of life and into bereavement. It includes management of pain and other symptoms and provision of psychological, social, spiritual and practical support.
Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG) can help support a patient and their family at this time. Health and Social Care are equal partners in providing this care which includes care in the home, a 24-hour support line and access to hospice care.
Advance Care Planning
There may be times in your life when you think about the consequences of becoming seriously ill or disabled.
This may be at a time of ill health or as a result of a life changing event. It may simply be because you are the sort of person who likes to plan ahead.
You may want to take the opportunity to think about what living with a serious illness might mean to you, your partner or your relatives, particularly if you become unable to make decisions for yourself. You may wish to record what your preferences and wishes for future care and treatment might be or you may simply choose to do nothing at all.
One way of making people aware of your wishes is by a process of Advance Care Planning.
The death of a loved one can be devastating. NHS Choices contains a lot of useful information and advice for coping with bereavement. These include the following:
It explains what you can expect from end of life care, including palliative care to manage pain and other symptoms along with psychological, social and spiritual support.
You can also find information about your rights and choices, including refusing treatment, setting down your wishes for your future treatment, and how to give someone the legal right to make decisions for you if you are no longer capable.