On August 21st, New Wave Home Care attended a meeting with the End-of-Life Care Coalition hosted at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena, CA. The coalition comprises a group of professionals serving the senior community, that endeavors to educate both home-care providers and the general public alike on the end-of-life process. E-o-L care is not limited to the final hours of life. In a broader sense, it deals with the care of those diagnosed with an incurable terminal condition that is in a state of progression or advanced.
In medical terms, end-of-life care covers a wide range of topics and decisions, including palliative care, the right of self-determination in regard to treatment or invoking the “death with dignity” laws that have been enacted in several states (including California), the ethics and efficacy of extraordinary medical intervention, as well as experimentation. Ultimately, the decisions governing end-of-life treatments remain in the province of the patient and their families, who must decide whether or not to pursue aggressive treatment, or simply withdraw from life support.
As a home-care organization dedicated to improving our elder’s quality of life, NWHC’s mandate falls more under the rubric of palliative care, wherein we endeavor to help seniors, their families, and friends, live as comfortably as possible as the end of life nears. As such, attending this event and interfacing with End of Life Care Coalition members and medical professionals at Pasadena’s Huntington Hospital, enabled us to further define and refine our approach to end-of-life care.
Additionally, our participation in this event afforded us the honor of taking the lead in planning a fall program in concert with the End Of Life Coalition, which will include viewing a short documentary film, a group discussion, and further elaboration on the subjects of aging and the progression of end-of-life events.
It is our deeply held belief that shining a light on subjects normally met with trepidation will prevent the occurrence of unwanted, expensive, and sometimes ineffective medical treatments while the emotional, physical, and spiritual needs of those facing the end of life go unanswered.