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End of Life Care

End of Life Care

Death, dying, and bereavement are subjects that are often difficult for people to talk about.  Just as health services support people with the prevention of ill health, diagnosis, and treatment, we can also support individuals and families in the last phase of their life.

Healthcare staff can help families to have conversations when there are no more treatment options. 

Comforting male in bed by holding hands

At ELFT, we can provide ongoing care and support that will be palliative - that is care that is aimed at keeping people comfortable - to get the most out of the time they have left.

Having Important Conversations

As well as symptom management and psychological care, we can be part of conversations such as: where does the individual want to be when they die, have they got a will, what is their position on organ donation, funeral arrangements, religious and cultural needs, etc.

It's important that family and loved ones know the person's thoughts and wishes on these areas. Having conversations in advance is not morbid or insensitive, it is a chance for someone to set their affairs in order and do things that they want to do. Our staff can guide a family at this difficult time to support their loved one and to process their own feelings about what is happening.

Aspects that we can support you with include:

Physically (place of death, advance care planning)
Emotionally (talking about death, making sure loved ones are cared for)
Financially (making a will, making funeral plans)
Spiritually (How different faith groups talk about and prepare for death)
Digitally (Looking at digital assets, social media, online banking)

There are a number of organisations that can help at these times:

In this blog, Bedfordshire Manager, Karen Simpson shares her story about the difficult days surrounding the loss of her daughter Rachael, how hard it was to keep going during lockdown, and useful ways that staff can support a workmate following a bereavement.

Ode to Rachel >>

Dennis had a diagnosis of a learning disability and was 91 years old when he died in August 2021. His carers have kindly shared their experiences of his death and how everyone came together to carry out his wishes to keep him in surroundings familiar to him and with people he knew. This account highlights the importance of talking about end-of-life care to everyone. Read the full account.

You can find resources to support someone with a Learning Disability.

 

In this blog, Community Palliative Care Nurse Judith Dimmock shares a personal account of working through the pandemic while dealing with personal grief.

She compares the experience and comfort her family derived from carrying out her mum's end-of-life wishes, with the sudden unexpected death of her brother-in-law which left the family flailing. It brought home to her how talking about your end-of-life wishes helps a family cope and brings them comfort. Read the full account.