Some residents are transferred to Emergency Rooms in acute care hospitals during an unanticipated crisis in their final stages of life. This can cause unnecessary suffering and distress and the care that a resident receives may not reflect their needs, values and preferences for care and treatment in their last phase of life. An example of suffering our residents may experience in the Emergency Room, is Delirium, a sudden onset of confusion due to the change in environment and staff, bright lights, excessive noise, unfamiliar medication administration, etc.
A ‘Palliative Approach’ is described as a person-centered approach to care guided by the understanding that the person is on a progressive life-limiting illness trajectory. Communication related to the resident and their family’s evolving understanding, personal preferences, and goals of care is understood as essential. Therefore, a palliative approach acknowledges the likelihood of gradual transition, emphasizing quality of life considerations during the active treatment phase. It recognizes that treatment goals will evolve from seeking a cure, to control of disease and complications, maintaining physical comfort and quality of life, and ultimately to symptom control.
Evidence shows that persons who receive a palliative approach suffer less, are physically capable for longer; are better able to interact with others for longer, may survive 25% longer, and family members are less likely to experience depression after their loved one has died.
How does Menno Place incorporate the Palliative Approach in Providing Care?
Conversations begin during move-in, as to what the understanding of the current condition/disease process and how it might change over time. At care conferences, discussion occurs with families/residents to determine what the goals of care are, based on the “frailty scale” and what the resident would/could have preferred as treatment while their condition declines. Ongoing conversations occur between families and/or residents and the entire team (Chaplains, Nursing, Recreation, Social Workers, etc.) as their condition declines, regarding goals of care. Ultimately, the goal is to provide quality comfort and palliative care at Menno Place.
Palliative Care at Menno Place is excellent, supported by the entire team. Chaplains and their volunteers visit and remain vigil if this is what the families/resident prefer. The nursing team provides excellent care to ensure comfort remains the priority for you at this time.