What is Palliative Care?

What is Palliative Care?

Do you have a loved one suffering from cancer or any life-limiting disease? Caring for one will not only drain you financially, but also physically, emotionally, and spiritually. As a carer, it would be best to acknowledge that you need help to provide the patient sustainable care until their last breath. This is what palliative care Melbourne is for and its sole goal is to give the patient the best life despite their illness and to provide support for the family and carers.

 

Palliative care often consists of treating life and death as a natural process; following the normal process heading to death; relieving the pain and symptoms; combining all the aspects of care needed by each patient, such as the physical, social, psychological, and spiritual aspects, while constantly monitoring the patient’s needs; offering support to patients to keep them as active as possible until they breathe their last; and helping the family cope with the patient’s illness and their mourning.

Most of those who avail of palliative care are patients suffering from HIV/AIDS, cancer, muscular dystrophy, motor neurone disease, end-stage dementia, and multiple sclerosis.

What to expect

Palliative care services are often provided in nursing homes, aged care homes, hospices, palliative care units and hospitals. Such services are usually offered by a specialist palliative care team or by doctors, nurses and caregivers who are trained in using the palliative approach in handling their patients.

Why carers need palliative support

Looking after a dying patient would take a toll on your emotional health. It is often easy to get swept away as you try to keep up with the demands of the patient to the extent that you forget to take care of yourself. As a carer, you have to be fit and healthy, too. You can only set aside time for relaxation away from the patient if you avail of palliative care Melbourne.

Where to find support

If you need more, there are several counselling services for carers like you, too. These are perfect for when you need to connect with other people who are familiar with palliative care, such as carers, patients, family members or friends.

Here are some of the organisations in Australia where you can seek help:

  • World Health Organization (WHO). This international health body defines what palliative care approach is all about.
  • National Palliative Care Service Directory. This is another rich online resource for companies employing palliative care services, as well as for patients wanting to get more familiar with what they can expect from such services.
  • Palliative Care Australia. This is one of the top organisations offering palliative care in Australia. It has branched out to various states and territories. It even offers online resources to carers in 21 languages.
  • Advance Care Planning Australia. This is a site that aims to educate carers and other people on advance care planning.
  • Palliative Care Knowledge Network. This one-stop online resource is favoured by many palliative care providers.
  • Decision Assist. This is mostly beneficial to health care professionals who want to start providing aged care services.

Who can further help patients

Aside from the organisations enumerated above, patients who need palliative care in the last moments of their life may turn to these people for help:

  • Doctors, such as palliative care specialists, general practitioners, and other specialist doctors
  • Nurses, including nurses with general and specialised services in the healthcare community, palliative care units, hospitals, and aged care homes
  • Allied health professionals, such as physiotherapists, social workers. Psychologists, occupational therapists, dietitians, pharmacists, and speech pathologists
  • Support healthcare workers, such as nursing assistants, diversional therapists, and personal care attendants
  • Therapists that use colour, aroma, massage or music to soothe patients
  • Bereavement counsellors
  • Workers who are fluent in various languages and are familiar with different cultures
  • Spiritual advisers from spiritual, pastoral and cultural backgrounds
  • Local health workers
  • Volunteers
  • Family members who are ever supportive of patients who choose to avail of palliative or end of life care

Seeing a loved one’s life fading away can hurt you like it has never hurt before. But try to minimise the pain and hire a palliative care provider now.