What is Palliative Care?
The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines Palliative Care as “…an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain [taking into account] and physical, psychosocial and spiritual [needs].
Who needs Palliative Care?
Anyone with a terminal or life limiting illness, such as Motor Neurone Disease, Parkinson’s disease or Dementia will need palliative care and it will generally be introduced when the diagnosis occurs. Levels of care will differ according to how advanced the illness is and how much care they need; sometimes it will only start when the person suffering the illness can no longer get out of bed unassisted, sometimes it will start as soon as the person is diagnosed so the appropriate supports can be put in place.
Where does Palliative Care happen?
Palliative care can happen in hospital, in special purpose hospices and importantly, at home which includes residential care facilities. It is widely recognised that overwhelmingly, Australians want to die at home but only 14% actually do. Private palliative care at home services allow those people who wish to, die at home.
What services comprise of in home Palliative Care?
In home palliative care services include:
- Palliative care nursing services, including wound care and medication management
- Personal care, including all assistance with daily living tasks
- Care and support for family and carers
- Ordering of appropriate equipment, including hospital beds and lifting devices
- Liasion between services, including GPs, phamacists and public palliative care services
Support for the Family Carer
Providing end of life care for the family of the person dying can be a very intense experience and it is important to have the right supports around, particularly when the person is close to dying. It can be difficult making clinical and other decisions in times of high stress so using an in home care services provider such as Colbrow Care who provide all necessary services, takes the stress away. The decision making process is not removed from the carer but the high level of stress is reduced by having the right advice and support.
What ever the life limiting disease or illness, the right support is available.