End-of life care at home – consistency and continuity is the key
Published: Tuesday 28th July 2020
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To be able to work in end-of-life care you need a special something. It’s an area of work that’s not for everyone, but for the right people it’s without doubt rewarding.
We spoke to Loredana Sima – who manages the South Devon end-of-life care project team of four care workers – to find out more.
“Although I wanted to be a doctor from a young age, and eventually did became a care worker, I never imagined I’d find myself managing an end-of-life care team. I’ve worked in domiciliary care and rapid response, but my role now is both more demanding and rewarding than anything I’ve done before.
“My team and I support 13 clients and their families with domiciliary care several times a day, at a time when they are incredibly fragile – both physically and emotionally. We deliver practical and hands-on support to help someone have the best quality of life possible – not in hospital, but at home, surrounded by family, friends and their memories and possessions.
“We pride ourselves on taking time with people. We don’t rush in and out at the start and end of a call – we gain a detailed understanding of what our clients need, in both personal and medical care. I believe one of the reasons our service is rated so highly is the relationships we build with our clients and their families.
“People tell us that they appreciate the quality, consistency and continuity of care we bring. We are gentle, helpful and sensitive in our care of both our clients and the families who support them day in, day out.
“Our team members work on rotation, but each of them understands which sitting positions are most comfortable for a client, or how best to support their personal care. That means that no matter who’s there, the client receives the precise level of care and attention they need, from someone who is experienced, empathetic and calm.
“With end-of-life care there’s a close network of professionals, including NHS commissioners, district nurses and organisations such as Marie Curie. We’ve built up extremely positive working relationships, which can only benefit our clients.
“I spend a lot of time talking to the people we’re supporting, their families, and the other health professionals. And they know they can call me for any advice or with any problem, no matter how small. That’s why I’m here.
“This role gives me enormous job satisfaction, in fact it’s more of a vocation than a job. An end-of-life care team is very special, and my four team members are no exception.”