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Understanding Options for End of Life Care

It is important for seniors and their caregivers to understand end of life care options, like hospice or palliative choices.

Sometimes life ends unexpectedly. But for many seniors, the end of life comes with warnings signs and happens slowly. Although difficult to discuss, it is important for seniors and their caregivers to understand all of their options.

What End of Life Care is All About


End of life care is unique because it is specifically for people who are nearing the end of a terminal disease or condition. The goal of end of life care is not rehabilitation or to cure an illness, but to support individuals as they wish until they pass away.


A number of diseases and conditions can lead to end of life care. Patients with terminal cancer diagnoses may begin end of life care when they decide to stop seeking treatment for the cancer, for example. Chronic illnesses, organ failure, and neurological diseases are other examples of conditions that may lead to end of life care.


Medical professionals will often consult with patients and their caregivers when they believe end of life care is warranted. For hospice care, patients generally must be considered to be within 6 months of death.


Teams of medical professionals and caregivers often work together to provide end of life care. Hospice care is often performed by a team in a facility or in the home. Palliative care is usually provided in a hospital or medical facility

Weighing End of Life Care Options

There are many factors to consider regarding end of life care. Seniors and their loved ones should make decisions based on questions like:

  • Is life-prolonging treatment desired during end of life care?
  • Will care be sought on a specific timeline or in an ongoing capacity? (Hospice begins within 6 months of death)
  • Will the care be provided at home or in a facility?
  • Does insurance need to cover all of the costs?
  • What types of care and service does my insurance provider cover?
  • Is round the clock care needed?
  • What kinds of providers are desired for end of life care (counselors, nurses, caregivers)?
  • Will access to specialized technology and equipment be a factor?


Ted Wolfendale

Administrator at Dial-a-Nurse
Mr. Wolfendale is a graduate of Stetson University, and Stetson University School of Law, and was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1988. He is admitted to practice in the Middle district of Florida, is an active member of the Florida Health Law section, and Lee County Bar Association.

In 1995 he became Administrator of Dial-a-Nurse nursing agency, the oldest nursing agency in the Southwest Florida succeeding his mother who started the company 37 years ago. He is also President of Nevco, Inc., an educational healthcare training company begun in 1988.

Mr. Wolfendale has worked with the U.S. Department of Commerce on various Missions to improve the quality of life around the world by development of supportive healthcare programs. In 2005 he traveled with U.S. officials and addressed the Italian National Government assisting in the creation of Nurse Education mandates for that Country. In 2006 he was invited and spoke with the National Institutes of Continuing Education in Eastern Europe on healthcare education and developmental mandates, and most recently represented the United States at the European Union in Lake Balaton, Hungary in 2011. In 2014 he traveled with the U.S. Department of State to Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam in an effort to improve caregiver knowledge and training.

Mr. Wolfendale has worked with a number of non-profits in contributing and creating curriculum to improve the quality of life in third-world countries since 2001, and notably created a successful program in Odessa, India that has been modeled in other areas of the world. In his backyard, he has worked with local Goodwill Industries to provide curriculum and training to underserved individuals who have obtained employment as a result of educational training. He was the Congressional appointment to the Governor's purple ribbon task force in 2013, and has worked to educate caregivers in all aspects of Alzheimer's training.
Ted Wolfendale

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