End of Life Care

9519855_sAn inevitable part of geriatric care management is end-of-life care. Our clients have a variety of issues and circumstances to address but, in virtually all cases, the single most important issue is the dignity and self-respect of the client.

At the beginning of care management services, we begin regular family meetings that establish a safe environment where plans, decisions, conflicts and grief issues can be discussed honestly and openly. When end-of-life draws near, the goal of these meetings evolves from ensuring dignity and quality of live to helping to ensure continuity of family support.

In care management, Family Connect Care works to ensure cooperation and communication between family members in all aspects of decision making. We facilitate meetings among siblings to encourage sharing of thoughts and feelings to mitigating conflict, ultimately leading to united plans to best support the dying person.

In addition to facilitating meetings, we negotiate care, explain issues, and communicate all critical information to families. If palliative (comfort) care or Hospice is involved, we advocate on behalf of the family in all meetings with the designated social worker or Hospice Discharge Planner at the hospital. Most family also have financial and emotional issues to address that benefit from our mediation services to address family conflict.

Palliative care and hospice refer to very similar care provided by medical professionals. Hospice typically refers to the holistic care of of a chronically ill, terminally ill, or seriously ill patient’s pain and symptoms, attending to his or her emotional and spiritual needs. Palliative care focuses on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain, physical stress, and mental stress of a serious illness (hence it is often called, “Comfort Care.” Together, they should not be feared by families. In practice, patients on hospice often improve after a physician addresses medications after considering the totality of their medical needs.