Tips for Families Requiring Palliative Care

Someone in your family has just been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness. You might be in shock and are worried about the challenges that lie ahead. It’s perfectly normal to feel this way because of the uncertainty about your family’s future. It’s also unsettling to hear the words “palliative care” because it might insinuate that your loved one is in their final days and that is a scary reality to accept.

The truth is, this is not going to be an easy time for you or your family. There will be a lot of transition and heartache and it’s important to be open with one another. It is also important to check in with yourself and to be able to communicate how you’re feeling in these challenging times.

Integracare is a Toronto home health services provider that has been operating for nearly 30 years. Amongst others, we offer home healthcare to Seniors who, rather than moving out of their homes to live in an assisted living facility, prefer to remain in their familiar surroundings. Our services are of the highest quality and bringing joyful living to our Clients is our number one goal. We believe that healthcare is best received within the comforts of home, and people don’t need to be uprooted to get the support that they need.  High quality support and care can come directly to them.

We offer many critical services to Seniors living at home, including live-in caregiving, personal support services, nursing care, wound care, and Palliative Care.

Palliative Care can relieve or reduce the physical and psychological symptoms, as well as the painful side effects that stem from serious illness and the related necessary harsh treatments and medications. It can help to improve your family member’s quality of life and it’s an extra layer of support for you and your family during a difficult time.

The focus of Palliative Care is to reduce or relieve physical pain, stress, emotional turmoil, and other unwanted symptoms that are a result of chronic illness. It serves as a secondary support system, in addition to any medical treatments that have been prescribed by specialists, such as chemotherapy. We offer compassionate care at home for individuals undergoing Palliative Care. Individuals who are in this stage of life deserve privacy and dignity. Our at-home care services provide just that.

Read on to discover the benefits of including at-home Palliative Care as part of your loved one’s healthcare plan as well as how you and your family can face this challenging time of life as best as you can together.


What does “Palliative Care” Mean?


Palliative Care is an approach to healthcare that improves the quality of life in individuals who have been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness, and a way to support their families facing the issues associated with those diseases. A team of healthcare professionals works with people to prevent and relieve suffering by means of early identification, impeccable assessment, and through the treatment of pain and other physical, psychosocial, and emotional problems.

Integracare offers the best palliative care in Toronto and Mississauga because our staff is highly trained and educated in all facets of home healthcare and support. Our Caregivers work closely with your loved one’s doctor and external healthcare team to ensure that they receive the support that is needed to improve their quality of life. We initiate a healthcare plan based on your loved one’s individual needs and because these needs will change throughout the duration of the disease, we reassess these priorities regularly.

palliative care in Toronto

Palliative Care is based around a multidimensional program to ensure that an individual’s psychological, physical, psychosocial, and spiritual needs are being addressed. The goal of our Palliative Care program is to reduce pain and to increase our Clients’ quality of life.


Always Keep Communication Doors Open


It is very important to have a conversation about this sensitive topic as early as possible. It helps to work out a plan to avoid any kind of urgent decision with your elderly family members when they turn a certain age or as soon as a doctor has made their diagnosis.

Be sure to designate someone as their healthcare advocate if they can’t make medical decisions on their own and someone to speak on their behalf. It might be your loved one’s eldest child or their best friend — it doesn’t matter who it is as long as it’s your loved one’s decision.

There needs to be a conversation about everything from the medical treatments your loved one wants to what their opinion is on life support — the fewer surprises the better.

These conversations might not be easy to have. Remember to always have a secondary support system for yourself — a personal therapist, a group of trustworthy friends — so you can continue to be as strong as you can be during this challenging time.


Recognize that Help is Necessary


It’s hard for some people to understand that they can’t do everything on their own, especially when beloved family members are involved in the situation. Our Caregivers provide the best compassion, support, and empathy for their final days when Seniors need it most. We hire Caregivers who are certified and demonstrate a passion for Caregiving. They are given ongoing regular educational and training sessions, and our dedicated team of Registered Nursing Coordinators is available to you on a 24/7 basis.

We also offer specialized Palliative Care services. Our team of fully certified Registered Massage Therapists (RMTs) provides gentle, therapeutic massage therapy to Clients at home. Massage therapy is beneficial to individuals with life-limiting illnesses because it brings warmth during a dark and lonely time. It provides relaxation and restores a sense of well-being and belonging.

As Senior healthcare providers, we understand how draining this process can be, and many of us have been in your shoes. We offer compassion and empathy that comes from the heart. We’re here to increase the quality of life for your loved one by providing compassionate care and support, and we’re also here to give a helping hand to you and your family.

Sometimes you need some space and our services allow you to rest and process what’s going on in a slightly less hectic way than if you were to do this on your own.


Make Sure to Get It In Writing


Yes, it’s crucial to speak with your loved one when they reach a certain age or as soon as a life-limiting diagnosis has been made. However, it’s also important to fill out any legal documents (for example a living will or a Do-Not-Resuscitate Order) when your family member is still with a clear mind.

It might not be an easy conversation to have as it involves logistics that will affect your entire family, but you’ll feel better once everything is done knowing that when the time comes, your loved one’s wishes will be materialized. There are resources that can help you figure it all out.

Your family deserves the very best — call us for more information about our at-home Palliative Care services. You’ll have the peace of mind knowing that your loved one is in safe hands at all times, and you won’t have to face any uncertainty alone.

We’re there for you every single step of the way.