End of Life Experience in Long Term Care

By / Posted on August 26th, 2014

Providing pain and symptom management along with religious, spiritual and emotional support can create the conditions for a good death.  In order to do this, a deep knowing of the individual is paramount.  But too often in skilled nursing settings, this is not the case.

In fact, a recent survey by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) has found that traditional nursing homes were lowest ranked for end of life care experience when compared with home care and hospital settings.  The survey is a pilot right now but it will be officially launched by CMS in 2015 in an effort to provide better information to elders and their family members about hospice programs in their area.

The Green House model creates environments that support a meaningful end of life experience.  The Green House “home for life” philosophy, combined with the small number of elders in a home, and consistent staffing, leads to deep relationships.  In this setting, as an elder nears the end of their life, their desires and preferences are clear and respected.  End of life care is a time of honor and reverence in The Green House model.  Read this granddaughter’s experience at Tabitha Health Care in Lincoln, NE.   The Green House Project has placed an emphasis on end of life care, and has worked with adopters of the model to develop resources and guidance for the end of life that respect the needs of the individual, other elders in the home, support staff and families.