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What Is Palliative Care?

Palliative care recognises the special needs of a person with a terminal / life-limiting illness.
The focus of care is on improving the quality of life of clients by assisting with their symptoms and helping them to make changes that will make life easier and more comfortable.
Palliative care aims to support the person to have control of their treatment options and offers support for their carer, family and friends.
It involves trained professionals providing various types of care which may include specialist palliative care doctors, nurses, family support workers, bereavement family support workers, music, massage and occupational therapists. The delivery of care is also supported by specially trained volunteers.
Palliative care is provided in the person’s own home, including residential aged and disability care facilities, depending on where the person is living and where they choose to have their care provided at the end of life.
Palliative care complements the range of medical treatments and services currently available.
Palliative Care:
•    Affirms life and regards dying as a normal process
•    Neither hastens nor postpones death
•    Provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms
•    Integrates the physical, psychological, social, emotional and spiritual aspects of care
•    Offers a support system to help people live as actively as possible until death
•    Offers a support system to help the family cope during the person’s illness & their own bereavement
•    Palliative care is provided to people of all ages who are dying.

Who Can Benefit From Palliative Care?

Palliative care helps people living with serious illnesses that are likely to shorten their life. For example: heart, lung and kidney diseases, motor neurone disease, cancer, and dementia. People of all ages, cultures and beliefs can benefit from palliative care, which respects their needs and wishes.

What Does Palliative Care Offer?

Palliative care offers expert care to relieve a person’s pain and suffering, and to respond to their social, emotional, cultural, and spiritual needs. Support is also available to family and friends providing care.

When Can Palliative Care Begin?

You can ask for palliative care any time from your diagnosis and throughout your illness. It can help with pain and other symptoms and improve your quality of life at any time during your illness. Palliative care may increase, reduce or stop, as your needs change. It is not limited to the last days or weeks of life.

Who Provides Palliative Care?

Health professionals work together to provide palliative care. They include your GP, specialist doctors, nurses, social workers, physiotherapists, occupational and speech therapists, spiritual carers and volunteers. Who is involved in your care will depend on your needs.

Where Is Palliative Care Delivered?

Most palliative care is provided where people usually live, such as at home or in a care facility. It is also provided in hospitals and in hospices (special units to provide palliative care). Some hospices offer day programs as well.

You can search for a palliative care service near you on this website.

How Do I Request Palliative Care?

Ask your GP or your specialist doctor to refer you to a palliative care service. A doctor’s referral is essential for palliative care in hospital.

In Victoria, you can request assistance from a community palliative care service without a doctor’s referral. They will ask questions about your situation and explain the next steps.

If you need help to find assistance, call Palliative Care Victoria T 03 9662 9644 during business hours.

What Does Palliative Care Cost?

Most palliative care services are free. There may be some costs for medicines or supplies depending on your needs, if these are not fully funded by Government. Private palliative care services charge fees. It’s a good idea to ask about costs. If you have health insurance, ask if they cover palliative care.

Eastern Palliative Care Euthanasia Statement

View the Eastern Palliative Care Statement on Euthanasia

EPC Statement

Contact Us Today

EPC provides specialist palliative care to people with a life limiting or terminal illness.