Being Prepared for Terminal Discharge

It’s never easy to hear that someone you love has been diagnosed with a terminal illness. When this happens, it can be difficult to know what to say or do. It’s important to remember that each person reacts differently to news like this, and there’s no right or wrong way to handle the situation. However, there are a few things you can do to help your loved one prepare for his or her final days.

One of them is to facilitate a comfortable transition from hospital to home after a terminal discharge

What is a Terminal Discharge?

When a patient is terminally ill, their doctor may recommend a hospital discharge in order to allow them to spend their remaining time in the comfort of their own home. This type of discharge is also sometimes referred to as palliative care. Terminal care focuses on providing comfort and support, rather than trying to cure the underlying illness.

While it may be hard to see someone we love suffer, a terminal discharge allows the patient to pass on in the familiarity of home. In fact, a survey in Singapore revealed that a majority of people wish to be at home when that happens.

Terminal discharge can be emotionally difficult for both the patient and their loved ones, but it can also provide a chance for quality end-of-life care in a more comfortable setting.

Factors When Considering a Terminal Discharge

When a patient is diagnosed with a terminal illness, their care team will work with them to develop a treatment plan. Part of this plan may include a terminal discharge.

There are many factors that go into considering such a move, and the decision is ultimately made by the patient and their family. Here are some of the things that may be taken into consideration:

1. The patient

First and foremost, you must always consider the patient’s preferences, whether they are verbal or written. If the patient has an advance care plan or lasting power of attorney, these documents should be taken into consideration as well.

It’s also important to assess whether the patient’s symptoms will be manageable at home. If there’s a chance that the patient could encounter difficulties on their way back home, it’s important to weigh all options carefully before making a decision. Ultimately, the goal is to ensure that the patient is comfortable and that their wishes are respected.

2. Family members

One of the most important considerations is whether or not there’s enough support at home to care for the patient. This includes having enough caregivers with relevant experience, as well as ensuring that the family has enough time to dedicate to the patient. It’s also important to make sure that the emotional and physical needs of the patients will be addressed and managed by the family.

The family should also be aware of the processes, signs and symptoms associated with terminal care, in order to be prepared for what to expect closer to death. In some cases, it may be necessary for individuals to take turns caring for the patient, or to delegate tasks to one another.

3. Resources and equipment

When a patient is terminally ill, their prognosis is poor and they have a limited life expectancy. As such, their care needs are very different from those of other patients. Many terminally ill patients also require specialised equipment, such as oxygen tanks or feeding tubes. If this equipment is not available, it can be difficult or even impossible to provide proper care at home. In order to ensure that they receive the best possible care, it’s important to prepare the right resources and equipment before your loved one comes home. 

If you are unsure whether or not you have enough support at home, you may want to consider a home hospice team. These teams can provide additional medical care, pain management, and emotional support for both patients and caregivers. They can also help train caregivers in providing proper care for terminally ill patients.

4. Transportation

If your loved one requires transportation to go home from the hospital, you may need to arrange for an ambulance service. In the event of death in an ambulance, the driver should continue the journey home and a home doctor call should be advised to certify the patient’s cause of death.

Other important factors include logistical considerations, such as distance from home and available support systems.

How Jaga-Me Can Help

Palliative care at home can be very beneficial for both patients and their families. It can help to manage symptoms, improve quality of life, and provide support during difficult times.

There are a variety of services that can be provided as part of palliative care at home. At Jaga-Me, we offer home nursing, respite care, and doctor house call services in Singapore to help your loved one as much as possible. Whether your loved one is suffering from terminal stage cancer or neurological diseases like Parkinson’s, our trained nurses and professionals will be there with you every step of the way. We also provide caregiver training for family members who want to provide the care at home themselves.

Contact us to find out more about what our JagaPros can do for you and your family in this challenging time.

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