Palliative care is for people of any age who have a serious illness that cannot be cured. It assists people with any life-limiting illnesses such as cancer, motor neurone and end-stage kidney disease, to manage symptoms and improve their quality of life.
For some people, palliative care may be beneficial from the time of diagnosis with a serious life-limiting illness. Palliative care can be offered alongside other treatments.
Do you know what options are involved in end-of-life care?Palliative care identifies and treats symptoms - physical, emotional, spiritual or social/psychosocial. Care is based on the individual’s needs and may include a variety of the following services:
- Relief of pain and other symptoms
- Resources such as equipment needed to aid care at home
- Assistance for families to come together to talk about sensitive issues
- Links to other services such as home help and financial support
- Support for cultural needs and traditions
- Support for emotional, social and spiritual concerns
- Counselling and grief support
- Referrals to respite care services
Palliative care involves many health professionals who all bring a range of skills to help you and your family manage your illness. These professions include, but are not limited to:
- Social workers
- Occupational and speech therapists
- Trained volunteers
Palliative care in your homeWherever possible, palliative care is provided in accordance with the individual’s preferences in consultation with their family and carers. This may include:
- At home
- In hospital
- In a hospice
- In a residential aged care facility
- The nature of the illness and amount of care the person needs
- How much support is available from the person’s family and community
- Whether the person has someone at home who can provide physical care and support for them.