Home Care as an Alternative to Hospice For End of Life Care
Canadian seniors, 85 years of age and older, is a growing population. In Canada, 93 per cent of seniors live at home and prefer to stay there as long as possible. Hospice care is often part of a senior care solution for the last stage of life. Hospices are residential facilities that provide 24 hour support for a dying person and their family in a home-like setting, with an average length of stay of approximately 10 days. Long-term care is also a residential facility with 24 hour support, but as the name indicates it is intended for individuals who require ongoing long-term support.
If a senior does not have sufficient support, it can be difficult to avoid moving them into a long-term care facility. In an analysis of four provinces across Canada (British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia) only 2-3 per cent of seniors who received home care are without a family caregiver, according to a Health Council of Canada report, “Seniors in Need, Caregivers in Distress: What are the home care priorities for seniors in Canada?”
In-Home Health Care as a Supplement to Residential Hospice Care
Staying at home or moving your loved one to a hospice at the end of life is a big decision. Often the decision comes down to your own personal values, beliefs, the priorities of the dying person, and the resources available to provide the necessary support.
Home Health Care providers, like CalaCare can provide in-home hospice and long-term care including:
- Personal care for assistance with day-to-day activities
- Nursing care
- Emotional support,
- Household management (i.e. errands, grocery shopping, housekeeping)
- Respite care for you and other family members to be able to rest
- Full-time live-in care
According to the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association, more than one in four caregivers show signs of distress, including feelings of anger, depression and feeling overwhelmed. Whether you opt for hospice care at home or in a care facility, if you are the primary family caregiver, the Canadian Caregiver Coalition says it’s important for you to practice self-care by taking a break from your caregiving responsibilities.
How to Choose a Home Health Care Agency for Hospice Care at Home
Start your search for a home health care agency by asking your loved one’s physician or nurse practitioner for recommendations. Speak to friends and relatives, call a few companies to be able to compare, and make sure that you ask questions and gather all of the information you need to feel comfortable. Ensure the company you choose has the necessary professional expertise to be able to provide a quality, integrated approach to palliative care at home.
CalaCare offers private home health care for families facing the end-of-life of a loved one. Call us today to schedule a visit or learn more about our hospice palliative care services at 1-888-774-CALA (2252).