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

‘Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problems associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual‘ – World Health Organization

There are a number of different terms used for the specialised health care that is provided to people who have an advanced illness, with little or no prospect of cure.  In Australia, the most common term is ‘Palliative Care’, but it can also be called ‘Hospice Care’, ‘End of Life Care’ and ‘Specialist Palliative Care’.

Palliative care is available for everyone: young and old, those with cancer or any other terminal diagnosis, people of any ethnic or cultural background, whether they live in the city or the country.

Palliative care will affect all of us at some stage in our lives whether as a patient, carer, family member, neighbour or friend. When someone has an illness that cannot be cured and will lead to death, palliative care may be suggested. This may occur within any age group, not exclusively with the elderly.

Palliative care is that part of healthcare provided to people who have a progressing illness that will lead to death. 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.

Palliative care providers will work with you, your carer and family, where you are living or where you receive treatment. This may be at home, in a Residential Aged Care facility, in a hospital or a hospice.

Palliative care and euthanasia are ‘NOT’ the same thing. Euthanasia is when a person’s life is deliberately ended so that they avoid suffering from an incurable condition or illness. This is illegal in every State and Territory in Australia.

Palliative care is about coordinating medical and support services so that someone with a life-ending illness is made as comfortable as possible. Palliative care can help a person maintain quality of life, but it does not aim to lengthen or shorten life.

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