This week is National Palliative Care Week. Organised by Palliative Care Australia and supported by the Department of Health, it aims to raise awareness and understanding and to break down misconceptions about palliative care in Australia.
What is palliative care?
According to Palliative Care Australia, palliative care is "person and family-centred care provided for a person with an active, progressive, advanced disease, who has little or no prospect of cure and who is expected to die, and for whom the primary goal is to optimise the quality of life."
Who is in a palliative care team?
A palliative care team may be comprised of a wide range of people including GP, aged care worker, disability support worker, specialist doctors, health care providers, family, friends and other carers. The team is supported by specialist palliative care services if symptoms become difficult to manage.
Careseekers and delivering palliative care
One of the great myths about palliative care is that nurses need to deliver all end of life care. Although nurses are essential for some aspects of palliative care, it can also be delivered by care and support workers and includes management of physical symptoms, emotional support and assistance in day to day life that allows the client to be comfortable and supported.
For more information on National Palliative Care week, please click here.