Nobody likes to think about their own death or that of their family members. But death is a part of life.
Palliative care is the holistic treatment of patients who are suffering from very serious illnesses and have a limited life expectancy. The target is to alleviate discomfort and to best uphold the quality of life in this last phase. It combines medical, nursing, psychosocial and spiritual support. Any specific wishes for certain remedial treatments or medical interventions can be recorded in writing in a living will.
Outpatient or inpatient palliative care
Depending on where the seriously ill or dying person has been cared for so far, he or she should also be accommodated as much as possible with palliative care. Outpatient palliative care treatment can be provided in the comfort of your own home. Upon request, volunteer hospice helpers come to the house to offer support and spend time with you. If inpatient hospitalisation is needed, specialised palliative care is often available at the hospital. In cases where the patient has a life expectancy of a few weeks to months only, treatment in a hospice is an option. In nursing homes, specialised palliative care will ensure that patients approaching the end of their life are allowed a dignified and peaceful passing. Some nursing homes also work with outpatient hospice services.