Palliative care helps people with any life-limiting or terminal condition to live their life as fully and as comfortably as possible. It is not just for people with cancer.
Palliative care identifies and treats symptoms which may be physical, emotional, spiritual or social. It also provides practical and emotional support to family and carers.
Because palliative care is based on each individual’s needs, support and services will vary. They may include:
relief of pain and other symptoms (e.g. vomiting, shortness of breath)
resources (e.g. equipment needed to provide care at home)
assistance to enable families to talk about sensitive issues or meet cultural obligations
referrals to respite care services
access to support services (e.g. home help, financial support)
emotional, social and spiritual support
counselling and grief support
Palliative care may be useful at different stages of an illness, from the time of diagnosis to the final stages of life. It can be given alongside treatments given by other doctors and is available for people of any age,