End of life care is care that helps all those with advanced, progressive, incurable illness to live as well as possible until they die. It enables the needs of both patient and family to be identified and met throughout the last phase of life and into bereavement. It includes management of pain and other symptoms and provision of psychological, social, spiritual and practical support.
End of life care is not just for the last few days of life when people are actively dying. End of life care can span a number of years, sometimes from diagnosis of a condition, up to a year or longer after death. It is often useful to visualise this using the NHS North West 5 Phase Model for End of Life Care:
In this section you will find information about:
- Key definitions of end of life care
- Life limiting illness
- Living with your illness
- Planning for your future care
- Identifying people who may be in their last year of life
- Support for you and your family
- What happens in the last weeks of life?
- What happens in the last days of life?
- What happens after someone has died?
- Dying Matters