End of life care is an important service in New Zealand. Reaching out early on for help allows care specialists to better understand your needs and respond suitably.
When we or someone close to us is dying, we want to know this can be done peacefully, comfortably and with dignity. Knowing your options, and where to go for help, can be the key to managing this in a way that fits well with you and those closest to you.
Your own support systems
Gathering a range of support around you can be helpful. This may include those you feel most supported by, those who know you most intimately, and those who can offer expertise and/or support in other ways, like meals, transport or friendship. As time progresses, family/whānau or those close to you often become skilled at understanding your unique need. They may therefore become your best advocates if the need arises. Remember, they need support and time out too, to recharge their own batteries.
While having your own support crew is great, most people need more specialised support at various times. This is commonly provided by members of a palliative care team. Ask your GP to refer you if this has not been done. An interRAI Palliative Care assessment may be advised.
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