When a person is terminally ill, the care he receives in his final months, weeks, and days is often referred to as "end of life service." In choosing the best service, you may want to consider where you will feel most comfortable. This could be in a hospital with medical professionals and state-of-the-art medical equipment constantly on hand or at home where your loved ones can actively participate in your care. You could also consider hospice care when you prefer a collaborative effort toward a dignified, comfortable death. In all cases, the best choice is likely the one you feel most comfortable with and can afford.
For many people, the end of life service offered through a hospital may prove the best option. This might make the best choice if you feel most comfortable and confident in the hands of medical professionals who have experience with terminal patients. For example, the 24-hour presence of nurses and on-call doctor availability could influence your decision. You may also feel more confident with hospital end of life service because of the range of equipment and medications available for your care. Additionally, you might appreciate the presence of the intensive care unit if your condition requires it.
You may also consider a nursing home for end of life service. Often, nursing homes provide a more homelike, less-sterile environment than a hospital. Though a doctor may not be present at all times in this type of facility, nurses are usually present and able to care for you 24 hours a day. If you find the hospital atmosphere frightening or upsetting, a nursing home may prove a reasonable choice. Additionally, you might feel more comfortable with a nursing home if you are already a resident and have developed relationships with the staff and grown used to the routine.
Hospice care is another option you can consider when trying to choose the best end of life service. This type of care is aimed at keeping you as comfortable as possible during the end of your life and providing the support you need to die in a dignified manner. With this type of care, you will likely have a group of people, including doctors, nurses, caregivers, and sometimes clergymen, working to make the end of your life as smooth as possible. If you prefer a collaborative approach to care that does not seek to cure you or make your death quicker, hospice may prove a good choice.
Though many people enter facilities when in need of end of life service, you may also have the option of receiving it in your home. This might prove a good option if you have family members or loved ones who support your decision and are willing to help care for you. Money is a factor when it comes to receiving end of life services in your own home, however, as you may need insurance or a significant amount of money to pay for visiting nurses and other home-care needs.