Today on our blog we’re talking about a delicate subject but it’s one that many families will be familiar with. October 8th, this Saturday, is World Hospice and Palliative Care Day 2022 so we’re going to look at the benefits of a granny annexe for families that are in a situation where they have a loved one that will need end of life care.
Palliative Care Day
World Palliative Care Day happens annually and is described as such by the organisers:
“World Hospice and Palliative Care Day is an annual unified day of action to celebrate and support hospice and palliative care around the world. With one voice, we will celebrate the importance of palliative care to quality of life, and advocate for equitable access for all.”
It’s great to bring awareness to the topic as palliative care is something most people don’t think about – until they either themselves receive a terminal diagnosis, or a loved one does.
So what is palliative care and what are the options?
Also described as end-of-life care, palliative care describes the care options and rights of a person that is in the final months or years of their life.
Every person has a right to live out their time in the way they choose and receive the correct care. Dignity and choice are two key factors in palliative care.
When it comes to choice, depending on their needs, people can either choose to receive palliative care in a hospice, a care home, or a hospital, according to the NHS. Another option, and one that many people choose to take, is the option to stay at home and receive care there.
To receive care at home, however, the environment needs to be right so that the needs of the person and their family can be met in terms of dignity, privacy, and medical care.
A Home For Your Final Years
As mentioned, we know this is a delicate topic but to put it simply, many people have a granny annexe built in their garden, because they know their loved one, usually, a parent (or both), is coming up to their final years.
Annexes aren’t just for elderly people either – we’ve built annexes for people with lifelong disabilities, or conditions that they will eventually die from, that want to live as close to family as possible. it’s also important to keep in mind that palliative care doesn’t always mean a short period, some people with terminal illnesses will live for years, and a lot of that time they will still be fully functional and able to move around.
Most families will know that their lovely new annexe will be the last home for their loved ones. That’s why we take so much care to create annexes that are comfortable and easily adaptable for older people, who may have disabilities or even need palliative care. Everyone deserves to live in comfort for their final years and their home environment is a big part of that.
So how suitable is a granny annexe for palliative care and what are the benefits?
We think one of the key benefits of caring for a loved one at the end of their life in an annexe, is how close you get to be to them, and them to you. When a loved one is in a hospice, or care home, you may have to spend a while travelling and fitting in with visiting hours. With a loved one set up comfortably in an annexe, you can spend as much time together as possible, taking advantage of precious moments and making sure the person still feels involved in daily family life.
On the flip side of that, an annexe also affords the person receiving care a lot more privacy than if they were situated in your house. A person at the end of their life may require privacy for many moments, including when they are receiving medical care, or if they wish to speak to individuals in private.
This balance between being nearby enough for comfort, yet still retaining some independence and dignity can be important.
Accessibility Of Annexes For End Of Life
Annexes are by their nature inherently easily accessible. We do have customers who may request steps to their annexe or the positioning may be a little unusual, but most of our annexes are very disability friendly.
Featuring walk-in, or wheel-in showers, we can even kit bathrooms out with shower seats and grab rails to make bathrooms as accessible as possible.
The doors on our annexes are wide enough to fit a standard wheelchair through and the layout in each of our models is an open plan concept that makes it easy for a wheelchair user, or someone using a walking frame to get around comfortably.
Going from indoor to outdoors is easy as there are no raised doorsteps to cross – many of our customers choose a wraparound style balcony to make a view of the garden accessible.
Various safety features can also be added to an annexe should they be needed, such as cameras to monitor a loved one, and pull alarms or call buttons.
The majority of annexes are also easily accessible for emergency services and should a loved one need to be taken to the hospital quickly, access won’t be an issue.
As some people receiving end-of-life care may need round-the-clock care, our annexes also make for a convenient hub for care staff featuring a full-size kitchen, and a place to sleep in our two-bedroom annexes.
Some people receiving end-of-life care may require a lot of medical equipment or a special bed and our annexes are spacious enough to accommodate everything a person will need, plus space for medical staff to work comfortably with their patients.
If you are thinking about your loved one’s final years and want to speak to us about accessible annexes, please give us a call. Although our core annexes come as standard, there are many bespoke features we can add to our annexes to ensure they meet your family’s needs, exactly.