Further support and information

Sunday 1 January, 2017

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A range of services are available to help people throughout the process of dying and to support their family and friends.

Carer services
  • Carers Australia 1800 242 636: National body working with state and territory carers associations to provide information and counselling for carers.
  • Carer Gateway 1800 422 737: Practical information and resources for carers, and links to support services in your local area.
  • Young Carers 1800 242 636: Support and information for young people who are caring for a family member who is ill.
Counselling and mentoring
  • beyondblue 1300 22 4636: 24-hour telephone counselling service; online and email counselling available 7 days a week. 
  • Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800: Telephone and online counselling service and crisis support for young people aged 5–25. 
  • Lifeline 13 11 14:  24-hour telephone crisis support and suicide prevention service.
  • MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78: Telephone and online support and referral service for men with family and relationship concerns. 
  • Cancer Council's Peer Support Programs 13 11 20: People affected by cancer who you can connect with online, by phone or in person.
Funerals
Future planning
  • Advance Care Planning 1300 208 582: Information about planning for your future health care, including advance directives.
  • Dying to Talk: Palliative Care Australia website encouraging Australians to talk about dying; includes a discussion starter. 
  • The GroundSwell Project: Community organisation using creativity to promote resilience and wellbeing throughout all phases of life.
Grief
  • Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement 1800 642 066: Online information for people experiencing grief.
  • GriefLink: Online information for the bereaved and grieving, their carers, friends and colleagues.
  • GriefLine 1300 845 745: Community and family services to support all Australians who have experienced a loss.
Practical assistance
  • Independent Living Centres Australia 1300 885 886: Advice on a range of products and services to help with aspects of day-to-day living.
  • Home help and transport: Contact your local council, your palliative care team or Cancer Council 13 11 20 to find out if you can get help with housework, meals or transport.
  • Home nursing:  Some home nursing can be organised as part of your palliative care; private services are also available – check if your private health fund covers them.
Legal and financial information
  • Cancer Council Legal and Financial Referral Service can connect you with a lawyer or financial adviser if you need professional advice about legal or financial issues; free assistance for eligible clients.
  • End of Life Law in Australia: Information from the Australian Centre for Health Law Research to help you understand the law relating to advance directives, stopping treatment, palliative care, and euthanasia.
  • Centrelink 132 717:  Offers financial support for people with a long-term illness and for primary carers.
  • National Debt Helpline 1800 007 007: Not-for-profit service that outlines how to tackle debt problems and explains how to find a financial counsellor for free, independent advice.
  • Public Trustees Australia: Gateway for all public and state trustees in Australia, who can help you prepare a will and manage your finances. 
  • Talk to the social worker on the palliative care team: May be able to help you access legal or financial support.
Palliative care
  • Palliative Care Australia: Provides information and resources and can link you to your local palliative care office.  
  • CareSearch: Australian Government website that provides palliative care information and links to services for patients and families, as well as resources for health professionals.
Spiritual care (pastoral care)
  • Contact your hospital: Many hospitals have a spiritual care practitioner (pastoral carer) who can talk to you about practical and spiritual concerns (from all religious and non- religious viewpoints).
Support groups
  • Telephone support groups Cancer Council 13 11 20: Includes groups for people with advanced cancer, for carers, and for the bereaved.
  • Cancer Council Online Community: An online discussion forum where people can connect with each other at any time, ask or answer questions, or write a blog of their experiences.

Reviewed by: Kerrie Noonan, Clinical Psychologist, Palliative Care, Liverpool Hospital, and Director, The GroundSwell Project, NSW; Gabrielle Asprey, Facilitator, Telephone and Internet Support Groups, Cancer Council NSW; Ann Branford, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA; Dr Kathryn Dwan, Senior Policy Officer, Palliative Care Australia; Dr Michelle Gold, Director of Palliative Care, Alfred Health, VIC; John Haberecht, Director of Learning and Development, Centre for Palliative Care Research and Education, QLD; Marjorie Hunter, Consumer; Philippa Kirkpatrick, National Policy Manager, Palliative Care Australia; Cecilia van Raders, PalAssist Coordinator, Cancer Council Queensland.
Updated: 01 Jan, 2017