End of life care

The majority of people who die at an old age, die in hospital. This is despite the fact that the preference for most people is to die in their own home.

In a bid to change this, some housing organisations are providing support to enable people to stay living at home, and spending minimum time in hospital, as they face the last few weeks and days of their lives. They frequently work with others, especially hospices, in this task and are focusing on:

  • enabling people to die in their usual place of residence
  • improving people’s quality of life towards the end of life
  • reducing hospital admissions, and therefore costs, at the end of life

People’s living arrangements are integral to their wellbeing, especially at the end of life, and housing organisations can assist in this element of care planning. Some also offer families and carers holistic support. In fact, they can assist in addressing several of the Quality Statements in NICE End of Life Care Quality Standard: www.nice.org.uk/guidance/qs13/resources/guidance-end-of-life-care-for-adults-pdf

In particular:

  • Home Improvement Agencies can help to make the necessary changes in a person’s home environment. For example, they can help families and carers to move furniture around and make a temporary bedroom downstairs. They can make minor adjustments to the property and, for example, put a downstairs toilet into a home.
  • Some housing and care providers work with families, carers and wider support networks to provide emotional, practical and digital support as well as internal changes to their homes. They get alongside people and help them to make choices, plan and prepare for their death.

Case study: Good death pilot, Newcastle