What is palliative care?
Palliative care helps people with a progressive, life-limiting illness to live as comfortably as possible. The main goal is to help you maintain your quality of life by addressing your physical, emotional, cultural, social and spiritual needs.
When most people hear the term palliative care, they fear that it means their treatment team has given up hope or they are going to die soon. This is certainly not the case for everyone referred to palliative care. This fear is one reason that some people don’t access palliative care services early – or at all.
Palliative care may be beneficial for people at any stage of advanced cancer – not just at the end of life.
Palliative care can be given alongside other cancer treatments and can help manage symptoms and reduce side effects. Palliative care also supports families and carers.
Questions to ask about this service
When looking at a service it is important to ask questions about how the service works before you decide to engage with them. Below is a list of questions you might like to ask when enquiring about a service.
Am I eligible?
Do I need a referral?
How much will this cost me?
Is there a wait time?
What services do you offer?
Will I be treated as an inpatient or an outpatient?
Health professionals you might see
Your palliative care team will be made up of medical, nursing and allied health professionals, who offer a range of services to assist you, your family and carers throughout your illness.
The health professionals listed below may be included in your palliative care team, there could also be other health professionals and people you see that are not included below, for example spiritual care practitioners and volunteers can offer practical and emotional support.
General Practitioner (GP) or family doctor
Palliative care specialist
Spiritual care practitioner
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