Palliative care is provided for someone who is really sick and not going to get better. The goal of palliative care is to improve the quality of life of patients - to provide comfort, and to help them be as comfortable and active as possible.
It can help with relief from pain, suffering, and other symptoms that may be affecting the person. Palliative care is not just about helping with physical concerns - it can also assist with social, emotional, cultural, and spiritual concerns. Supportive care for a person who is getting ready to finish-up is about health professionals working together to do what the person wants. Palliative care services can help patients to remain in their community if that is what they wish. They can help family, carers, and community members learn how to care for someone who is finishing up.
I had help from palliative nurses… and when it got to the end he just couldn’t get out of bed. But they were lovely because they gave me a bed in the hospital in the room with him—right to the end, yeah
A carer's story.
Source: Kelly J, Dwyer J, Mackean T, Willis E, O’Donnell K, Battersby M, et al. Managing two worlds together: Study 3 - The experiences of patients and their carers (902kb pdf). Melbourne: The Lowitja Institute; 2011. Page 22.
Last updated 19 August 2021