Palliative care helps people with a life-limiting or terminal illness conduct their life as fully and comfortably as possible.
It can be used by anyone of any age who has been told that they have a serious illness that cannot be cured.
Palliative care identifies and treats symptoms that may be physical, emotional, spiritual or social, and assists people with illnesses such as cancer, motor neurone disease and end-stage kidney or lung disease to manage symptoms and improve quality of life.
For some people, palliative care may be beneficial from the time of diagnosis with a serious life-limiting illness.
A “palliative care team” can include a GP, aged care worker, as well as anyone else - including family - that plays an important role in providing palliative care.
Because it is based on individual needs, the services offered will differ, but may include:
- Relief of pain and other symptoms
- Assistance for families to come together to talk about sensitive issues
- Links to other services such as home help and financial support
- Support for people to meet cultural obligations
- Emotional, social and spiritual support
- Counselling and grief support
Palliative care is a family-centred model of care, meaning that family and carers can receive practical and emotional support.
For more information, visit palliativecare.org.au.