Palliative care worker helps elderly man get up from his bed at home.

Palliative Care and End-of-Life Planning

Last updated on October 30, 2023

Palliative care and end-of-life planning for a family member or friend are subjects you may be avoiding or delaying, but they play vital roles in ensuring that your loved one experiences comfort and dignity if facing a chronic illness or the final stages of life. While these aspects of care are sometimes interconnected, they have distinctive differences.

Palliative care is a specialized form of support to enhance the quality of life for individuals dealing with serious illnesses or conditions. End-of-life planning, on the other hand, prepares for the eventual end of life, including decisions related to care, legal matters, and personal preferences.

Palliative care can address your loved one’s physical, spiritual, social, and emotional needs at any stage of life, regardless of life expectancy — and unlike hospice care, which begins when curative treatments stop – palliative care can be delivered alongside curative medical treatments.

As your loved one begins to require more care due to a life-limiting or age-related health condition, you may consider end-of-life care planning. Although this can be an emotional topic to discuss, having a comprehensive end-of-life care plan can ease anxiety and reassure for your senior and family during a time of uncertainty.

How Can In-Home Care Help With Palliative Care and End of Life?

Visiting Angels’ palliative care program takes a holistic, comprehensive approach to providing older adults with non-medical, personalized comfort care that focuses on enhancing overall well-being and quality of life.

Visiting Angels can play a significant role in your loved one’s end-of-life plan by providing non-medical personal care, companionship, comfort, and support. With access to non-medical certification in palliative and end-of-life care, Visiting Angels offers the support and compassion you and your loved one need during a challenging time. 

For example, if your loved one’s congestive heart failure progresses and becomes terminal, Visiting Angels could deliver palliative care support and add assistance with daily personal care tasks — alleviating stress and anxiety for your family while you focus on spending quality time together. Your caregiver would work alongside medical and hospice providers to offer non-medical support for your loved one that maximizes their overall comfort.

Care Plans Customized for Comfort

You can tailor your loved one’s end-of-life or palliative care plan with Visiting Angels to maximize comfort and well-being. And if their condition changes, you can make adjustments to reflect their new needs.

The care plan may include hands-on, day-to-day personal care— such as help with bathing, dressing, meal preparation, light housekeeping, and grooming — assistance with mobility, transfers and positioning, medication reminders, companionship, respite care, or a combination of services.

Whether your senior spends their remaining time at home, in a nursing home, or in an inpatient hospice facility, a Visiting Angels caregiver can help to create a relaxing environment that promotes comfort and connection with loved ones.

If you want to learn more about Visiting Angels’ palliative care or end-of-life care programs to promote physical, emotional, social, and spiritual comfort during all stages of life, contact your local Visiting Angels office to schedule a free home care consultation.

If you're interested in our compassionate home care services for you or a loved one, contact your nearest Visiting Angels home care agency today or call 800-365-4189.
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