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End-of-Life Care Options to Supplement Hospice (Canada)

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Whether you are a hospice care provider, in-home caregiver or other senior care professional, it’s important to help families understand the options and limitations involved in end-of-life care. You can help them avoid frustrating predicaments like the one this family faced:

Since Mom died, my sister and I make regular trips to visit Dad. Lately, his health has been declining and now he needs hospice care, but he really wants to stay in the home he and mom shared. We want to honor Dad’s wishes, but hospice won’t come unless Dad has a full-time caregiver. We live so far away, we’ve got our own kids to take care of, and neither one of us can afford to give up our jobs.

This family could have benefited from non-medical in-home care services to ensure the dad had full-time care, even when a hospice worker or family member could not be there.

Hospice Care and the Full-Time Caregiver
Although hospice care can be part of the senior care solution, it is usually intended as a complement to home care, so family caregivers continue to play a crucial role.
If a senior does not have sufficient support from a family caregiver, 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 Care Solutions
Non-medical in-home care providers, such as the CAREGiversSM available through the Home Instead® network, can supplement the care given by hospice or palliative care teams by providing some or all of these resources:

  • Emotional support
  • Companionship
  • Housekeeping
  • Personal care
  • Daily activity assistance

Professional in-home caregivers can work closely with the hospice team to ensure the patient has quality care 24/7 and can live his or her final days with dignity and in comfort.

Family Caregiver Respite
In-home care services can provide respite for family members who are so busy taking care of their loved ones that they do not have the opportunity to take care of themselves. The Alzheimer Society of Canada advises family caregivers to practice self-care. Maintaining a healthy diet, getting enough rest, and exercising regularly can contribute to the family caregiver’s overall health and give them strength to continue providing care.

In-Home Care Resources
If you’d like information about how Home Instead CAREGivers can work with a hospice team, please visit or call the Home Instead Support LineSM at 800-640-3914 to locate an office near you.

In-home care services and hospice care services can work together to create the best end of life care for your patients. Helping them cover all the bases is a major way to assist them in this crucial time of life.

Last revised: October 4, 2013

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