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The 5 Stages Of Palliative Care At The Future Care Group

At our consortium of care homes, we provide comprehensive palliative and end-of-life care, ensuring that individuals receive support at every stage of their journey. Palliative care is often misconstrued as solely end-of-life care, but it encompasses much more. While providing comfort and relief towards the end of life is part of palliative care, it represents the final stage of a broader continuum. Our approach involves supporting individuals from as early as the moment of diagnosis throughout their entire terminal illness journey. Our team collaborates closely with medical professionals to address their physical, emotional, and practical needs during this difficult time. 

We understand the concerns and anxieties that come with a terminal diagnosis which is why we have developed a structured approach consisting of five stages of palliative care. In this article, we will delve into each stage and outline how we implement them across our network of eighteen care homes to ensure a seamless and compassionate experience for our patients and their loved ones.

What Are The Stages Of Palliative Care?

At the Future Care Group, palliative care is typically broken down into the following five key stages:

  • Bespoke care planning
  • Emotional and spiritual care, advice, guidance, and support
  • Managing treatment
  • Practical care 
  • Supporting loved ones

Our palliative and end-of-life care teams adhere to the Gold Standards Framework (GSF) to ensure the highest quality of care for our residents facing these sensitive circumstances. Upon admission, residents entering our palliative care program are categorised based on the severity of their condition, like a traffic light system:


Residents categorised as green are currently well, and death is not anticipated in the near future.


This signifies that the resident is experiencing increasing frailty and requires additional care and support.


Red designation indicates that death is expected imminently, and our team provides specialised end-of-life care tailored to this stage of their journey.

Let’s delve into the details of each care stage.

Bespoke Care Planning

Palliative care begins with our team of care professionals collaborating with you and your family to understand your individual needs and goals. Together, we’ll create a detailed and personalised care plan to ensure effective support for everyone involved in your care. While this process may involve difficult conversations, our staff are trained to approach them sensitively. We initiate these discussions as early as possible, ideally when you’re in the “green light” phase, feeling well and able to express your wishes clearly.

Your care plan encompasses a detailed overview of your illness and its progression, current and future treatments, preferences for care settings (hospital, hospice, or at our care home), medication management, and legal decisions. Beyond practicalities, we also consider your personal needs and desires, striving to fulfil any aspirations you may have.

As you transition into the “amber” phase, we incorporate more frequent visits from General Practitioners into your care plan and begin discussing with your loved ones the possibility of nearing the end of life within a few months. When you enter the “red” phase, our team adjusts the care plan to ensure your comfort and dignity during this final stage.

It’s important to emphasise that you and your loved ones have full control over your care plan, which remains flexible to adapt to your evolving needs at every stage.

Emotional And Spiritual Care, Advice, Guidance And Support

As you and your loved ones process the news, our palliative care team is here to provide continuous emotional and, if desired, spiritual support as you navigate this journey. We offer various forms of support, including talking or music therapy, as well as Namaste care sessions, aimed at bringing you peace and comfort. Additionally, our team can assist you in having difficult conversations with your loved ones about your illness and the future. You don’t have to face any of this alone—our palliative care team is dedicated to ensuring you are supported every step of the way.

Our staff undergo specialised training in palliative care through the Gold Standards Framework, supplemented by training from local hospices. We seize opportunities for training offered by hospices eagerly. Plus, we provide comprehensive clinical skills training for all our nurses, covering essential tasks such as verification of death and syringe driver management. With access to a wealth of support and training resources, our nurses and team leaders are equipped to deliver exceptional care.

Managing Treatment

As you emotionally prepare for the journey ahead, our palliative care team at the Future Care Group begins by comprehensively assessing all aspects of your care. Our goal is to ensure that you can live as comfortably, actively, and independently as possible throughout your illness. This involves providing you with specialised medical equipment to alleviate physical symptoms as needed. Additionally, we arrange for companionship, assistance with hygiene, and other clinical and complex care services tailored to your specific needs.

Our palliative care teams will communicate openly with primary care providers, and specialists to ensure residents receive coordinated care, referring residents to specialised services as necessary. Our resolute care team is here to ease the burden of care for your loved ones, allowing them to focus on spending quality time with you in our warm and supportive ‘home from home’ environments.

Practical Care

As your symptoms and illness progress, our palliative care team stands ready to support both you and your family as you prepare for what lies ahead. Ideally, important decisions, like creating living wills to clarify your wishes, are made during the care planning stage. However, we know this isn’t always possible and if this hasn’t been addressed, our team will assist you and your family in navigating any remaining difficult choices.

As you approach the end-of-life or “red” stage, you have the freedom to choose where you receive care—be it in a hospice, hospital, or within our care homes. Regardless of your decision, our primary focus remains on ensuring you and your family receive unparalleled support and comfort. Should you opt to remain in our care, we are fully committed to providing compassionate end-of-life support. This includes specialised assistance such as pain management, symptom control, and emotional support as well as facilitating family involvement and farewells.

As outlined earlier, early, and meticulous care planning during your residency with us streamlines the transition, alleviating any concerns and holding your preferences and needs paramount throughout the process.

Supporting Loved Ones

Our commitment extends beyond the resident. It encompasses support for grieving family members, friends, and caregivers following the passing of a loved one. If we cannot provide direct support, we endeavour to equip them with the necessary tools and information to navigate their grief. We recognise that everyone grieves differently and tailor our approach to meet individual needs during this challenging time.

Upon the resident’s passing, our team convenes privately to reflect on the care provided and whether it aligned with our objectives. If not, we introspect to identify areas for improvement and determine how to enhance our approach in the future. Supporting our staff through this process is equally vital, as they invest considerable time and effort into caring for residents and forming strong relationships with them. Encouraging self-reflection and learning from each experience fosters growth and improves our ability to provide compassionate care.

Arrange your visit

Find out more about the palliative and end-of-life care provision at the Future Care Group, and see if it is right for you or your loved one. Alternatively, give us a call and our award-winning team will happily chat things through with you.

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