Choosing where to die can be really difficult, and it’s important that you know what your options are. They could include being at home, at a hospice for young people, in a hospital or a combination. Ask your doctor or palliative care team to talk through the options available to you.
Although people will want to respect your wishes, it may not be possible for you to be cared for where you want. For example, if you want to stay at home, there may not be space downstairs for you to have a bed or washing facilities. There may not be a young person’s hospice in your area, or your care needs may mean you need to be in hospital.
Discussing your care in advance will mean that you know which choices are available to you and can decide on the best option for your situation.
Deciding on where you will die isn’t an easy thing to think about, but remember that anything you decide isn’t set in stone, You can always change your mind, but knowing your options can help.
Palliative care teams will be there to help hospital staff give you the best care possible, whether it’s offering emotional support to you and your family or helping you cope with pain or other symptoms. Some people find it reassuring to be in a placed with so many skilled doctors, nurses and care professionals on hand 24-hours a day.
Young people’s hospice
Hospices provide free care to young people and their families when they are first diagnosed as having a terminal illness, through to the end of their life. Hospices may offer various activities and therapies. It may also be possible for family members or partners to stay overnight. You can ask the hospice staff for more information about visitors and any other questions you have.
Some people prefer to be in an environment that is familiar and it can help to feel part of family life. If you choose to be at home when you die, you may receive palliative care from nurses who come to your home. This could include help with any pain or symptoms, day-to-day nursing, or emotional support. They may also be able to provide specialist equipment to make you more comfortable. Not every local authority will offer the same community support so you may want to speak to your care team, or ask someone close to you to help find out what options are available if you want to carry on living at home.
Combination of care
Some people choose a combination of options in their final months. For example, you may want to visit a hospice as an outpatient and then go back home at night time. Some hospices will provide transport to take you home is this is something that you and your family would benefit from.
Reviewed September 2015. Next planned review 2017.