“End of Life Care”

At Home Instead Senior Care in Stockport & Tameside we provide training for CAREGivers for ‘End of Life Care’.  HISC Stockport piloted this training last autumn and we have recently run 2 courses for 10 CAREGivers.  This course is accredited by City and Guilds and the photograph shows the CAREGivers proudly receiving their certificates from Kate our training office and David, the Managing Director. 

The CAREGivers found the course really interesting and full of helpful information to enable them to provide excellent care and support to clients and their families at end of life.  The CAREGivers also found that the course provided support for them on a personal level as they were able to share their views and experiences with others in the group.  The CAREGivers bonded well and said they had enjoyed meeting together each week and had got a lot of support from each other.  One CAREGiver, Sue, often made a cake to share which made the training even more enjoyable!

The training provides information on what is ‘palliative care’ and how this relates to caring for a client at the end of their life.  The course helps CAREGivers understand the importance of providing ‘holistic care’ which means considering everything about the person not just physically, but psychologically, spiritually and socially.  Caregivers consider how to enhance quality of life and think about all the things that give a good quality of life for themselves and others, realising that quality of life means something different for each person.

The course provides lots of information about supporting a client with personal care needs and includes providing good oral hygiene, care of the skin and preventing pressure damage and providing nutrition to clients at the end of life. CAREGivers commented that the information on oral hygiene was particularly useful and one CAREGiver promoted this with a client afterwards and encouraged him to allow her to clean his dentures and he commented that this had made such a difference to how he felt.

The course contains information for CAREGivers on how to manage symptoms the client may experience such as pain, nausea, constipation, breathlessness.  This is in relation to medications and also other therapies such as massage and mindfulness.  We all enjoyed the mindfulness session and felt very relaxed afterwards!

The Course looks at the importance of advance care planning so that everyone knows what the client’s wishes are.  One CAREGiver commented that they now understand what end of life planning entails and the process doesn’t just involve the person, but family, friends and carers too.’  Another CAREGiver said she had gained lots of information about communication skills and other people skills.  The CAREGivers also learned about the importance of teamwork and which other health care professionals they can refer to for different support for their client.  The Course covers loss grief and bereavement and how to understand what someone is going through and that people can be affected in different ways.

Following the course one Caregiver summarised how she will use what she has learnt in her work saying ‘ I will use the skills and information to help clients and their families in the most difficult times; to make sure, where possible, that the clients wishes and choices are followed, whilst helping them retain dignity.  I will be empathetic to client and family’s needs to deliver a good quality of care and help clients reach their full potential as far as their condition allows’.

If you would like more information about the services provided by Home Instead Senior Care, please call 0161 480 0646 or email: info.stockport@homeinstead.co.uk

A group of Home Instead CAREGivers talking
Family welcoming a Home Instead care manager into their home