- Cancer Information
- Advanced cancer
- Facing end of life
- Choosing where to die
- In a residential aged care facility
In a residential aged care facility
A residential aged care facility (formerly called a nursing home) is a place where people stay who need continual care and help with daily living.
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These facilities cater for people with a range of chronic conditions, and nurses and aged care workers can provide continuous care. Some aged care facilities also provide respite and end-of-life care.
Some people fear that dying in residential aged care will be unpleasant and perhaps impersonal. But dying in an aged care facility can be comforting, particularly if it has been your home for a period of time and you are familiar with the people there. Staff will try to make you comfortable and give you and your family privacy.
Ensuring your wishes are respected
If you want to die in a residential aged care facility, have an advance care directive in place. Talk to your care providers about avoiding an unnecessary transfer to hospital at the end of life.
Key points about a residential aged care facility
- A less clinical environment than some hospitals.
- Experienced staff to manage symptoms and needs.
- May be located close to carers, family or friends.
- Provides 24-hour care.
- Family and friends can go home to get some rest. But some carers may find this difficult.
- Some families prefer not to live in a house where someone has died.
Podcast: Living with Dying
Prof Jane Phillips, Head, School of Nursing and Professor, Centre for Healthcare Transformation, Queensland University of Technology and Emerita Professor Palliative Nursing, University of Technology Sydney, NSW; Prof Meera Agar, Palliative Care Physician, Professor of Palliative Medicine, University of Technology Sydney, IMPACCT, Sydney, NSW; Sandra Anderson, Consumer; A/Prof Megan Best, The University of Notre Dame Australia and The University of Sydney, NSW; Prof Lauren Breen, Psychologist and Discipline Lead, Psychology, Curtin University, WA; David Dawes, Manager, Spiritual Care Department, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Rob Ferguson, Consumer; Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar, Counsellor, Psychotherapist and Social Worker, One Life Counselling & Psychotherapy, NSW; Justine Hatton, Senior Social Worker, Southern Adelaide Palliative Services, Flinders Medical Centre, SA; Caitlin MacDonagh, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Palliative Care, Royal North Shore Hospital, Northern Sydney Local Health District, NSW; McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer; Palliative Care Australia; Belinda Reinhold, Acting Lead Palliative Care, Cancer Council QLD; Xanthe Sansome, National Program Director, Advance Care Planning Australia; Kirsty Trebilcock, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA.
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