Dying in a palliative care unit or hospice

You may decide that you’d be more comfortable in a setting with staff who have the expertise to help your family and friends look after you. Specialised palliative care facilities may be called palliative care units (often associated with a hospital) or hospices. They focus on end-of-life care centred on quality of life. Staff specialise in providing physical and emotional comfort to the patient, and supporting the family before and after the death.

Palliative care units and hospices are different from most hospital wards. Usually quieter and calmer, they have a more homely environment. Many people value the relaxed surroundings, as well as the skilled staff and expert symptom management.

Learn more about:


Palliative care unit or hospice: what are the benefits?

  • A warm and comfortable physical environment.
  • 24-hour care with expert pain and symptom control.
  • Focus is on quality not length of life.
  • Direct access to a team of professionals and volunteers trained to meet the needs of the dying patient and carers.
  • Allows the patient and their family and friends to focus on being together.
  • Carers can leave at the end of the day and get some rest.
  • Some families prefer not to live in a house where someone has died (although others find this a comfort).

What do palliative care facilities offer?

These facilities often offer short-term ‘respite’ care as well as longer-term care for the dying person. Sometimes you can go back and forth during your final weeks. Many now have a maximum length of stay, so you may want to check this with them ahead of time.

A palliative care unit or hospice may offer a break from mainstream health care or from people wanting to visit you at home. You may choose this option if you want to relieve your family from caring for you while dying, although they can still be involved. They can help in many ways, such as feeding, bathing, and offering comfort by reading, sharing music or simply being present.


When to contact a palliative care facility

Some people and their family and friends are unsure of when to contact a palliative care facility. They may wait to call until the final days, possibly missing out on the support that this environment has to offer. Some facilities have waiting lists, so talk to your palliative care team about when would be an appropriate time to make the initial contact.


Click on the icon below to download a PDF booklet on facing end of life.


    Facing End of Life

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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

Kobo

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 2017
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