The palliative care team is there to help make life easier for you, your family and carers in a variety of ways, including:
- If you’re living at home, the team can call or visit regularly. This can reduce feelings of isolation and fear, help your carers look after you, and keep you out of hospital.
- The team can help dispel any myths and misconceptions about advanced cancer you or your family and carers have.
- Your care is usually coordinated by one person who communicates with the team on your behalf.
- The team can help you to make treatment decisions and to prepare for the changes that advanced cancer brings.
- Adjustments around the house can make things easier and safer for you, your family and carers. The team can help you identify suitable equipment and aids (e.g. a shower chair).
- The team can assist you with planning for the future, such as thinking about the type of care you may need and where you would prefer to receive care.
- Your palliative care service may offer a number you can call for advice in an emergency at any time of day or night.
- The team can provide emotional support – a social worker, counsellor or psychologist can help you work out your goals and how to achieve them. These goals may be specific end-of-life wishes, but can also simply involve getting the most out of each day (e.g. enjoying time with friends and family).
- The social worker or counsellor can help you and your family deal with loss or grief. Counselling can be worthwhile to help you deal with the changes advanced cancer brings.