Palliative care will affect all of us at some stage in our lives whether as a patient, carer, family member, neighbour or friend. However, many of us do not understand what palliative care is. When an illness cannot be cured, the focus of care changes to helping patients have the best quality of life possible while managing their symptoms. Palliative care maintains quality of life by addressing physical symptoms such as pain or nausea as well as helping with emotional, spiritual and social needs.
The role of palliative care within Australia is described in Understanding Palliative Care. The National Palliative Care Program provides an overview of the Australian Government's national initiatives in this area since 2000.
Specific information for patients, carers, families and friends can be found in the For Patients and Families section. Health professional information can be found in Clinical Practice and Professional Groups.
The pages are not intended to replace the care or advice of your health professionals. They provide a set of resources that may help you learn more and access useful materials.
This page was last updated 24 June 2009