End of life/palliative care
The area of my special interest in care is end of life/palliative care. Hospice was the first health care place which I used to work in after changing my profession. I received a 5 months training and obtained a diploma in hospice palliative care.
Even though the final stages of life are associated with an old age they may occur at anytime as a result of an accident or serious disease like cancer. Individual's approach to this difficult stage of life may be very different from considering it as the beginning of a new life through fear up to denying. Disregarding person's attitude towards what is happening to them they need help in many ways.
From mine, care assistant's point of view the most important aspects of end of life care are: psychological and spiritual support (if requested), basic personal hygiene, supporting with eating and drinking and meeting continence needs. Another one which does not belong to my duties is administering proper medication which is basically pain reliefs.
I work in a care home on two nursing units where very often I have to take care about terminally ill patients. Care provided must be very gentle and tailored towards resident's needs as well gaining knowledge about resident's illnesses and their stage from care plans and hospital documents is crucial.
Depending on resident's condition accompanying and supporting is extremely important as well, because terminally ill person in most of the cases goes through five-stage process of dying which are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. And on every stage such an individual is going to need appropriate support and understanding.
As a carer I have a duty and a desire to help as much as it is possible by meeting all the mentioned needs and reassuring residents using all my knowledge and experience which I have gained.