End of life care
Where you can be cared for
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What is end of life care?
If you are approaching the end of life, you may be offered care in a variety of settings. The palliative care team will organise for you to be cared for according to your wishes.
You can receive end of life care:
- at home
- in a care home
- in a hospital
- in a hospice
Care at home
You may not need to move away from home to receive care, as end of life care can often be provided at home. Sometimes this is available at any time of the day or night.
To find out whether you can receive nursing care or hospice care at home, check with your GP.
In a care home
You can receive end of life care in a care home, where trained staff are available to look after you day and night.
You may be cared for in hospital. Many hospitals have specialist palliative care teams who work alongside and support the hospital doctors, nurses, and other health and social care professionals.
Hospice care is provided by a specialist unit run by a team of doctors, nurses, social workers, counsellors and trained volunteers.
Hospice care can take place in your own home, as an inpatient at a hospice or as a day patient visiting the hospice.
NHS continuing healthcare
If you choose to receive care at home, in a care home or in a hospice, you should be assessed for NHS continuing healthcare.
Continuing healthcare is care given over an extended period to meet the physical or mental health needs of adults with a disability, injury or illness.
It involves a package of care arranged and funded by the NHS, and is free of charge to the person receiving the care. This is sometimes called "fully funded NHS care".
Help and support
If there is someone looking after you, such as a partner or relative, it could be helpful for them to get a carer's assessment to see whether they qualify for local authority help.
You are entitled to high-quality end of life care, wherever you receive it. If you have questions or comments about your care, the service providing it will want to hear your views.
healthtalk.org has videos and written interviews of people talking about where they want to be cared for at the end of life.
Page last reviewed: 20/06/2018
Next review due: 20/06/2021