One of the great myths about palliative care is that it is only a synonym for end-of-life care. It is so much more than that. Anyone with a life-limiting illness has the right to access palliative care services that will support them in living as well as possible, for as long as possible.
Palliative care helps people (from babies to older adults) live their life as well as possible for as long as possible, when living with a life-limiting or terminal illness. It is person and family-centred care that considers the individual’s physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs, as well as the needs of their loved ones and carers.
Accessing palliative care early can help ensure a person’s values, beliefs and goals for their care are known and respected.
Palliative care is available to people with a serious or life-limiting illness and their families, to assist in managing their symptoms and improve their quality of life.
Palliative care workers have a deep understanding of the difficult situations people face with a life-limiting illness or near the end of their lives and can help. The palliative care community in Australia is comprised of clinicians from across the full spectrum of the clinical disciplines who care for people who are dying or living with a life limiting illness.
Starting these conversations can be difficult, however an advanced care plan is important. It will ensure the health wishes and choices of a person with a life limiting condition are known by family, friends, doctors and health professionals. The GCPHN Advance Care Planning Toolkit is a practical guide to implement advance care planning in general practice and the Advance Care Planning Guide ‘Planning your Future Care Today’ provides a simple step-by-step guide to creating an advanced care plan. These resources can assist providers and consumers to initiate the conversations about advance care planning.
Palliative care is so much more than end-of-life care! It supports people to spend more time doing the things that matter most to them.
To learn more about palliative care visit the Palliative Care Australia website.
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