Palliative care is specialised care and support provided for the terminally ill, their carers and their families, especially that provided by an organised (public or private) health service.

Palliative care is the relatively new name for the specialised way of providing supportive care for any person with a life-threatening illness, approaching the end of their life.  This may occur within any age group, and is available for anyone with a terminal diagnosis, whether they live in the city or the country.

Cure is no longer the aim of treatment, rather, maintaining the best quality of life possible, becomes the priority. It encompasses a holistic approach to providing physical (including treatment of pain and other symptoms), emotional, social, cultural and spiritual support and assistance.

Within a hospital setting, such care may be provided in a dedicated palliative care ward, in a hospice affiliated with a hospital, or in other beds distributed throughout a hospital.

Within a community setting, such care may be provided within an aged care facility or nursing home, or even within a personal home based setting.

In an aged care facility, the facility’s ‘Resident Agreement’ which covers the persons rights and responsibilities, will state the criteria as to whether or not the home will be able to provide care at the final stages of life. Further to the agreement, the decision to go to hospital for treatment may be made by the person, in consultation with their doctor.

If a person does decide to go to hospital, their place must be kept at the aged care facility while they’re away.

The Australian Federal government website ‘My Aged Care’ will have further information on theAged Care Home Agreements required by aged care facilities, and also the ‘Guidelines for a Palliative Approach in Residential Aged Care’.

For further information, please see the section on End of Life Care on our website.

Please use our Business Directory Search facility to find ‘Hospices and Palliative Care’ service providers in your local area.