Who can help?

Wherever you receive end-of-life care, the different health professionals in your palliative care team can offer a range of services to assist you. You may not need to see all of the people listed below, but understanding the different roles can help you work out what support is available and who to ask about particular issues. Your care may be coordinated by your GP, a community or hospital palliative care nurse, or the specialist palliative care team.

Who can help? – The palliative care team

GP continues to see you for day-to-day health care issues and may coordinate your palliative care
specialist palliative care nurse may work in a community or hospital setting, can provide ongoing care and may coordinate your palliative care
community nurse visits you at home to supervise medical care, assesses your needs for supportive care, and works with your GP
palliative care specialist (physician) treats pain and other symptoms to maximise wellbeing and improve quality of life; usually works in collaboration with your GP or palliative care nurse
cancer specialists (oncologists and surgeons) may refer you to the specialist palliative care team and continue to provide cancer treatment to help manage your symptoms
counsellor, psychologist help you manage your emotional response to diagnosis and treatment
psychiatrist specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness, can prescribe medicine and uses evidence- based strategies to manage emotional conditions
spiritual care practitioner (pastoral carer) discusses any spiritual matters and helps you reflect on your life and search for meaning; if appropriate, may arrange prayer services and other religious rituals
pharmacist dispenses medicines and gives you advice about dosage and side effects
occupational therapist assists in adapting your living and working environment; can suggest equipment, such as a hospital bed, wheelchair and bedside commode (toilet chair)
physiotherapist helps with restoring movement and mobility, and preventing further injury
diversional therapist offers recreational activities to improve your wellbeing
dietitian recommends an eating plan and tries to use diet to assist with digestive issues, such as nausea or constipation
speech pathologist helps with communication and swallowing problems
social worker links you to support services and helps you with emotional, practical and financial issues; may also be called a welfare officer
volunteers can help with home or personal care and transport, and also offer companionship

Listen to our podcast series The Thing About Advanced Cancer

Click on the icon below to download a PDF booklet on palliative care

Printed copies are available for free - Call 13 11 20 to order

Instructions for downloading and reading EPUB files

Apple devices

The iBooks application must be installed on your Apple device before you can read the EPUB.
Different ways to download an EPUB file to your Apple device:

  • email EPUB files to yourself and transfer the attachment to iBooks.
  • copy EPUB files into DropBox (or a similar service) and use the DropBox app to send them to iBooks.
  • open EPUB files directly from Mobile Safari and open them in iBooks, where they are saved automatically by downloading the EPUB from the website.

Need more help? Visit: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4059


To download an EPUB file to your Kobo from a Windows computer:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • select “Open folder to view files” to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

To download an EPUB to your Kobo from a Mac:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • open your “Finder” application.
  • select “Kobo eReader” from the listed devices to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, probably in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

Turn on your Kobo and your EPUB will be located in “eBooks”, while a PDF will be located in “Documents”.
Need more information? Visit: http://www.kobo.com/help/koboaura/response/?id=3784&type=3

Sony Reader

To download an EPUB file on your Sony Reader™:

  • ensure you have already installed the Reader™ Library for PC/Mac software
  • select the eBook you want from our website and click the link to download it.
  • connect the Reader™ to your computer.
  • open the Reader™ Library software and click “Library” in the left-hand pane and select the eBook to view it.

Need more help? Visit: https://au.readerstore.sony.com/apps_and_devices/

Amazon Kindle 2nd Generation devices

EPUB files can’t be read on the Amazon Kindle™. However, like most eReaders, Kindle™ 2nd Generation devices are able to display PDFs. We recommend that you download the PDF version of this booklet if you would like to read it on a Kindle™.
To transfer a PDF to your Kindle™ via USB cable from your computer or Mac:

  • download the PDF directly onto your computer.
  • connect the USB cable to your computer’s USB port, and the micro USB end of the cable to your Kindle™. Note: the Kindle™ won’t be available as a reading device while it is connected to your computer until it has been disconnected.
  • open the Kindle™ drive and several folders will appear inside. The “Documents” folder is where you will need to copy or drag the PDF to.
  • safely eject your Kindle™ from your computer and unplug the USB cable. Your content will appear on the Home Screen.

Kindle also provides a Kindle Personal Documents Service that allows users to send documents as an attachment directly to your eReader. For more information on this service, visit http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=help_search_1-1?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200767340&qid=1395967989&sr=1-1
For more information on accessing a PDF on your Kindle™, visit www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle, log in to your account and click on Personal Document Settings.
Need more help? Visit https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200375630

Android and PC

You can also download and open eBooks on Android devices and PCs with appropriate apps or software installed. Suitable eReader apps for Android include Google Play Books, FBReader and Moon+ Reader. Suitable software for PCs include Calibre and Adobe Digital Editions.

This information was last reviewed in January 2020
View who reviewed this content
View our editorial policy

Support services

Support for carers
Speak to a health professional or to someone who has been there, or find a support group or forum

Cancer Council Online Community
A community forum – a safe place to share stories, get tips and connect with people who understand

Cancer information

Advanced cancer
Learn about the range of emotions you may experience if you are affected by cancer

Information for carers
Information for family and friends providing care to someone at any stage of cancer