- Cancer Information
- Advanced cancer
- Facing end of life
- Common questions about dying
- Will palliative care help?
Will palliative care help?
Palliative care is person-centred care that helps people with a progressive, life-limiting illness to live as fully and as comfortably as possible. It’s sometimes called supportive care. The main goal is to help you maintain your quality of life by identifying and dealing with your physical, practical, emotional, cultural, social and spiritual needs. Palliative care also offers support to families and carers.
A team of health professionals, as well as volunteers and carers, work together to offer a range of palliative care services. The services will be tailored to your individual needs, and may include:
- relief of pain and other symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and shortness of breath
- resources such as equipment to aid care at home
- assistance for families to come together to talk about sensitive or complex issues
- links to other services such as home help and financial support
- support for emotional, cultural, social and spiritual concerns
- referrals to respite care services.
Your palliative care may be coordinated by your GP, a palliative care nurse or the specialist palliative care team in your area. Palliative care teams see people with the most complex needs, but they can also advise other health professionals on ways to manage symptoms. Palliative care can be provided in the home, in a hospital, in a palliative care unit or hospice, or in a residential aged care facility. Services vary, because palliative care is different in each state and territory.
Dr Megan Ritchie, Staff Specialist Palliative Medicine, Palliative Care Service, Concord Repatriation General Hospital, NSW; Gabrielle Asprey, Cancer Support Consultant, Cancer Council NSW; Rosemary Cavanough, Consumer; Louise Durham, Nurse Practitioner, Metro South Palliative Care Service, QLD; Tracey Gardner, Senior Psychologist, Cancer Counselling Service, Cancer Council Queensland; Karen Hall, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA; Linda Nolte, Program Director, Advance Care Planning Australia, VIC; Rowena Robinson, Clinical Advisor, Palliative Care Australia, ACT; Helena Rodi, Program Manager, Advance Care Planning Australia, VIC.
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