A terminally ill person’s deteriorating medical condition, increased physical safety needs, and the 24-hour demands of end of life care often mean the primary carer will need additional in-home assistance, or for their loved one to be placed in a specialist care facility.  In many cases, people prefer to remain at home during the final stages of life, in familiar surroundings with family and friends close at hand.

While every person and each family’s needs are different, constant changes can be difficult for a terminally ill person to contend with, especially one with dementia or advanced Alzheimer’s disease, for example. It’s easier for a loved one to adjust to a new home or care facility before they’re at the end stage of their illness. In these situations, planning ahead becomes very important.

Specialist palliative care units are usually available with a number of different organizations within Australia such as nursing homes, aged care facilities and some hospitals.

Such facilities are typically an option for patients whose life expectancy is six months or less, and generally involves pain and symptom relief to enable your loved one to live their final days with the highest level of dignity and quality of life possible.

If palliative care is provided in the patient’s own home, then additional support can be provided by specialist palliative care providers, so that family members and friends are able to focus more fully on positively engaging with their loved one during the remaining time.

When end of life care is provided at home, a family member usually acts as the primary caregiver, supervised by the person’s doctor and/or specialist palliative care nurses. The palliative care team makes regular visits to assess the person and can also provide additional care and services, such as speech and physical therapy, or to help with bathing and other personal care needs. Such staff can usually be arranged to remain on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with your service provider.

The palliative care team normally provides emotional and spiritual support according to the wishes and beliefs of the person. They also offer emotional support to the family, friends and caregivers, including grief counselling if required.

If you require a Hospice/Palliative Care Facility, Grief Counselling, Solicitor or Respite Care Service that services your local area, please see our Business Directory Search facility.