End of Life Care Resources
HHS is committed to providing excellent care for all patients suffering from a life-threatening or life-limiting condition. The Quality End-of-Life Care (QEoLC) initiative supports this objective by encouraging collaborative and pro-active planning around end-of-life care and developing systems to enhance care of the dying. End of life care is part of the continuum of palliative care. It is delivered in the final phase of a person's life and can continue after death with bereavement support of family and friends. The goals of care at the end of a person's life may look different then the goals when first diagnosed with a life threatening illnesses or life limiting chronic condition. End of life care should be delivered to meet each patient's unique goals during this sensitive time. This form of care can be provided within a variety of settings including but not limited to acute and long-term care hospitals, nursing homes, residential hospices, and within a patient's home.
Be sure to consider what is important to you at this time.
Decisions about care should reflect your personal values and beliefs about what is important to you. Questions you may want to consider:
- What represents a good quality of life?
- What things would make your life meaningful?
- Would you want medical interventions to be done to prolong your life even if you would not consider it to be a good quality of life? Or, would you prefer to allow a natural death.
- Do you have cultural or religious values that influence the decisions made about your care?
- Do you have questions or concerns about the dying process?
- Who should make decisions for you if you can not speak for yourself?
Who should help make these decisions with you?
You may find it helpful to talk to others about your health care preferences and to have your Substitute Decision Maker (SDM) and family present during the goals of care discussion with your healthcare team. Having your SDM and family present will allow them to be aware of your health preferences and support your decision making.
To help understand what should be considered in your health preferences please refer to the Advance Care Planning & Substitute Decision Maker resources in the left tab.