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Do You Have To Pay For Palliative Care At Home UK

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  • 02-12-2021
Do You Have To Pay For Palliative Care At Home UK

Have you been asking: do you have to pay for palliative care at home UK? We look at why you may choose palliative care at home and how to get it.

Why Choose Palliative Care at home?

Many people requiring palliative care are choosing to receive it in the comfort of their own homes. There are many reasons for this, including staying near their loved ones and remaining in familiar surroundings. 

However, not all types of care can be performed in the home, so if you or your loved one requires specialist medical assistance, you may need to consider which place would be best for them to receive it.

If you are unsure what form of care, you or your loved one requires and whether this can be administered at home, taking advice from your GP is the best place to start. They will know what forms of home care service are available in the local area and whether any of these services apply to you or your loved one's health needs. 

GP practices will also employ district or community nurses who can liaise with the necessary care services and coordinate home nursing care.

Planning Ahead For Palliative Care

For those with social care needs, such as washing, eating, toileting or dressing, your GP or district nurse can also arrange for the appropriate care services to assist. 

Social care services can also help make adaptations or source appropriate equipment to make living at home more comfortable for those requiring specialist palliative care and support. 

Again, if you are unsure of what would be best in your or your loved one's case, it is always best to consult your GP.

If you decide that a family member will provide the care you or your loved one needs, you must ensure they can perform all of the duties required. If they are incapable of performing the necessary duties, they will find it incredibly difficult caring for someone with complex medical needs. 

It is always best to discuss this with them, given that they may not be able to perform increased duties should the need arise. You can arrange for a carer's assessment to be conducted if they are still unsure whether they will be able to care for you or your loved one properly. 

These assessments are known as Adult Carer Support Plans in Scotland. These checks will look at the type of care you or your loved one needs, determining what kinds of help or support your care provider could need. Again, speak to your GP if you think one of these assessments could help.

Where can you receive end of life care?

For those approaching the end of their lives, there is a range of options regarding the place they can receive their care. As part of the NHS, a palliative care team will arrange whatever kind of care you need in whatever setting is the most appropriate. But, of course, it is naturally up to you and your loved one where they ultimately want to be cared for.

The places you can receive end of life care include:

In your own home

In residential care homes

In a hospital

In a hospice

Care At Home

Depending on your care needs, it is always possible that you or your loved one will be able to remain at home while receiving end of life care. 

Naturally, the goal of end of life care is to make things as comfortable as possible for people who are dying - what could be more comfortable than home?

Round the clock care is a possibility for those that need it, with someone to care for you or your loved one day or night. Typically, this will involve a live-in carer who will stay in the home to provide care whenever needed. To find out if this is a possibility in your local area, check with your GP.

In Hospital

It is also possible to receive end of life care while in hospital. Most hospitals have a palliative care unit within them, with professional palliative care nurses on hand to provide whatever their patients could need. 

These nurses will work alongside doctors and any other medical professional involved in your or your loved one's care.

In A Care Home

Moving to a residential care home can sometimes be distressing, but the care provided by the trained staff of a dedicated end of life care home can prove beneficial. 

Again, given that their professional staff will be on call 24 hours a day, receiving end of life care in a nursing home provides a comprehensive method of care.

Hospice Care

Hospice care is another alternative for those who require end of life care. 

Teams of doctors manage hospice units alongside nurses, counsellors, social workers, and volunteers, all aiming to make their patients' final days more comfortable, improving their quality of life even to the end. 

You or your loved one can receive hospice care at home, at the hospice itself, or as a day patient, visiting the hospice as and when you need to.

Getting end of life and palliative care at home

Nearing the end of your life can often be a distressing time, especially if it comes as a shock through the diagnosis of a life-limiting illness. Due to this dramatic change in circumstances, many people think they will need to make dramatic changes to their life, such as moving away from their homes.

However, in most cases, this is not true. Through your GP, district nurses and a host of other health and social care professionals, you can receive both palliative and end of life care from the comfort of your own home. 

This can help lessen the shock of receiving such a diagnosis of terminal illness and help make things comfortable in your final days.

However, while remaining in your home has its benefits, you will not be able to receive the level of care available when staying in a hospital or hospice. 

But remaining in the comfort of your own home means staying where you are most relaxed. You can continue to be surrounded by the memories you have created, surrounded by the people that you love.

Anyone reaching the end of their life qualifies for the best quality care possible, no matter where they choose to be cared for. Whether in their own home, a residential care home, hospital or hospice, wherever someone chooses to spend their final days, they are entitled to do so in comfort.

Personal Care Service

Whether you or your loved one chooses to receive their palliative or end of life care, each care service they require should be personally tailored to their specific health and social care needs. Your GP, district nurse or care provider should conduct an assessment to discover exactly what type and level of care you or your loved one needs and wants.

The ultimate goal of palliative and end of life care is to ensure that a person reaching the end of their life can do so comfortably. 

As their end draws nearer, doctors, nurses and care providers will do all they can to ensure they are not in great deals of pain. 

When the time finally comes, all the healthcare professionals involved will ensure that they can pass with dignity.

Whenever someone chooses to remain in their home while receiving palliative or end of life care, they need to undergo an assessment for NHS continuing healthcare. Those with particular healthcare needs are eligible for free services provided by the NHS. 

If you are unsure if this applies to you or your loved one, asking your GP, social care worker, or local authority is the best thing to do. They can arrange an assessment for you to determine if you are eligible.

NHS continuing healthcare

Being assessed to see if you or your loved one is eligible for NHS continuing healthcare applies to all those who choose to receive care at home, in a residential care home or hospice. 

Continuing healthcare ensures that anyone who needs specific care over a period of time receives it without having to pay any money. This applies to both physical and mental health care needs for adults with illnesses, injuries or disabilities.

NHS continuing healthcare comprises a package of care managed and funded by the NHS, meaning it is free of charge for the person receiving it in the UK. Sometimes this form of care arrangement is known as "fully-funded NHS care" but is essentially the same service.

What palliative services can you receive at home?

Naturally, different illnesses or conditions will require different kinds of care. This is why professional care assessments are so necessary. Through these assessments, your or your loved one's care providers will determine what care services will be best while ensuring they conform to their patient's wishes.

Some symptoms will be more difficult to treat if you or your loved one chooses to remain in their home. Therefore, it is not always recommended for those with serious conditions to stay at home. Speaking with your GP is the best way to determine whether receiving care at home is possible for either you or your loved one.

If you or your loved one ultimately decides to receive their palliative care at home, here are a few of the services that are possible:

Help with washing, toileting, bathing and dressing

Continence care

Help with medication routine

General housekeeping

Conducting food shopping and collecting prescriptions

Psychological support for the patient, their friends and their families

General social companionship, improving independence and keeping mentally active

Mobility assistance, such as adaptations to your or your loved ones home to help movement

Physical and emotional pain management

Cooking and preparing meals

If you have questions about how to live better with Palliative Care, we hope this information has been useful to you.

We offer specialist home care services and live-in care for vulnerable adults throughout London. Get in contact today if you have a loved one that would benefit from professional care at home.