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What is Palliative Care?

Palliative care is person and family-centred care provided for a person with a life limiting illness, for whom the primary goal is to optimise the quality of life.

Palliative care is care that helps people live their life as fully and as comfortably as possible when living with a life-limiting or terminal illness.

Palliative care identifies and treats symptoms which may be physical, emotional, spiritual or social. Because palliative care is based on individual needs, the services offered will differ but may include:

  • Relief of pain and other symptoms e.g. vomiting, shortness of breath
  • Resources such as equipment needed to aid care at home
  • Assistance for families to come together to talk about sensitive issues
  • Planning for future medical treatment decisions and goals of care
  • Links to other services such as home help and financial support
  • Support for people to meet cultural obligations
  • Support for emotional, social and spiritual concerns
  • Counselling and grief support
  • Referrals to respite care services

Palliative care is a family-centred model of care, meaning that family and carers can receive practical and emotional support.

Who is Palliative Care For?

Palliative care is for people of any age who have been told that they have a serious illness that cannot be cured. Palliative care assists people with illnesses such as cancer, motor neurone disease and end-stage kidney or lung disease to manage symptoms and improve quality of life.

For some people, palliative care may be beneficial from the time of diagnosis with a serious life-limiting illness. Palliative care can be provided alongside treatments given by other doctors.

Where is Palliative Care Provided?

Palliative care is provided where the person and their family want, where possible. This may include:

  • At home
  • In hospital
  • In a hospice
  • In a residential aged care facility

Who is in the Palliative Care Team?

Palliative care may be provided by a wide range of people, this may include your GP, aged care worker, cardiologist and any other health care provider, as do family and other carers. They are supported by specialist palliative care services if symptoms become difficult to manage. To find your closest specialist palliative care service in Victoria click here.

How do I get Palliative Care?

For help and information ask your:

  • Doctor
  • Aboriginal Health Worker
  • Nurse
  • Social worker
  • Phone Palliative Care Victoria for support in accessing a referral.
For More Information

To find our more please explore the Palliative Care Victoria website or feel free to call at (03) 9662 9644 to discuss your specific information needs. 

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