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End of Life Care: Preparing for the Final Days

By Rick Cohen, 8:00 am on

Planning for the end of life of a cherished family member is extremely difficult and emotional, but thoughtful preparations can make the process less stressful for your loved one and your family. If you are going through this difficult life event, the following information about end of life care may further assist you in preparing for your loved one’s final days.

What Is End of Life Care?

The primary goal of end of life care is to make patients as comfortable and pain-free as possible while maintaining their personal dignity. This is often achieved by administering hospice or palliative care. Hospice care is typically provided after a medical professional determines that a patient has less than six months to live while palliative care is available to anyone suffering from a chronic illness. Both types of care are delivered by highly trained and compassionate caregivers and focus on improving the quality of life for the patient and their family members.

Starting the Conversation

The end of life is a subject that few people are comfortable discussing, but an open conversation with your loved one is the best way to ensure that his or her final wishes are fulfilled. The discussion should center on your family member’s preferences. Some people want to spend their final days at home while others want curative treatment to continue for as long as possible. Because your loved one’s wishes may change with time, the conversation should continue as the disease progresses.

How to Move Forward

Putting your loved one’s wishes in writing ensures that he or she receives that end of life care he or she wants. Advance medical directives let family members and medical professionals know where the patient wants to spend his or her final days and what types of treatment he or she wants to receive. You may also want to consult with a legal attorney or professional financial manager who can help ensure that everything is in order.

At Home Care Assistance of Milwaukee, we understand that aging adults approaching the end of life need specialized and compassionate care and emotional support. We are a resource and support system for seniors and their families and offer Milwaukee hospice care that helps address a senior’s emotional and spiritual needs as well as their physical symptoms. To learn more about our care services, please reach out to a Care Manager at 414-964-8000. We are here to help.