Working with Families

Supporting patients in palliative care also means supporting their carers and families. Some allied health professionals such as psychologists or social workers will do this more formally as part of their role, while others may do this as part of routine care or clinical interactions.

Good communication is important as are consistent messages from all health professionals involved in the patient's care. Family meetings or case conferences are one way of getting everyone together in the same place and facilitating communication and care planning.

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  • Carers Australia has resources to help support those in caring roles
  • The Carers Alert Thermometer (CAT) is a short screening tool to identify and support the needs of unpaid family carers providing end of life care at home. It has been developed with carers and professionals in the UK to ensure it is evidence-based and assesses the most important areas of carer burden. It is available free of charge but requires registration.


From Palliative Care Australia:

Fact Sheets

The Palliative Care Network of Wisconsin produces fact sheets including:

Video / Podcasts

From the Canadian Virtual Hospice:
Last updated 01 May 2018