Definition of palliative care

The World Health Organisation defines palliative care as follows:

Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problems associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual. Palliative care:

  • provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms;
  • affirms life and regards dying as a normal process;
  • intends neither to hasten or postpone death;
  • integrates the psychological and spiritual aspects of patient care;
  • offers a support system to help patient live as actively as possible until death;
  • offers a support system to help the family cope during the patient's illness and in their own bereavement;
  • uses a team approach to address the needs of patients and their families, including bereavement counselling, if indicated;
  • will enhance quality of life, and may also positively influence the course of illness; and
  • is applicable early in the course of illness, in conjunction with other therapies that are intend to prolong life, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy, and includes those investigations needed to better understand and manage distressing clinical complications.

Children and their families

WHO's definition of palliative care appropriate for children and their families is:

Palliative care for children is the active total care of the child's body, mind and spirit, and also involves giving support to the family. It begins when illness is diagnosed, and continues regardless of whether or not a child receives treatment directed at the disease. Health providers must evaluate and alleviate a child's physical, psychological, and social distress. Effective palliative care requires a broad multidisciplinary approach that includes the family and makes use of available community resources; it can be successfully implemented even if resources are limited. It can be provided in tertiary care facilities, in community health centres and even in children's homes.

OUR LATEST

Life Stories Breakfast - Wednesday 9 August 2017

Life Stories Breakfast - Wednesday 9 August 2017

Join us for a delicious breakfast at Hotel Realm and be entertained by the lovely Jean Kittson, Australian performer, writer and comedian. Jean is also a women's health advocate and presents a lighter tone on the issue of death and dying and wants people to start the talk before it’s too late.

Palliative Care ACT Fundraising Dinner - Save the Date

Palliative Care ACT Fundraising Dinner - Save the Date

SAVE THE DATE - Palliative Care ACT Annual Fundraising Dinner Saturday 14 October 2017

An invitation to be part of a research project about support for end of life care

An invitation to be part of a research project about support for end of life care

Palliative Care ACT are undertaking a reseach project to discover potential gaps in the palliative care system.

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