What is palliative care for children and young people?
Any child or young person who has a serious, complex, or life-limiting illness may receive palliative care.
Palliative care is helpful for children with diseases like:
- neurological (brain) conditions
- heart, lung, kidney, or liver disease
How to decide if your child needs palliative care
Deciding whether or not your child needs palliative care is a personal and emotional decision. To make this decision you can do the following:
- speak with their doctor or health care provider
- consider what your child's and family's needs are
- determine what services are available in your area
How this palliative care differs from adults
The services provided by a paediatric palliative care team include:
- specialist care
- assistance in accessing services
- sibling support
- counselling and emotional support
- bereavement support
- networking activities
- trained family volunteers
Deciding on the right type of care is not always easy. Many children are cared for at home. However, your child may also have palliative care in a hospital or in a hospice. You can also move between all of these facilities while your child is having palliative care. Palliative Care Australia has a full list of paediatric hospices.
For more resources on palliative care for children and young people, see: