Palliative care isn’t just about end-of-life care. Palliative care enables you to live your life to the best of your ability by identifying physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs. It is beneficial for people of any age who are living with a serious illness that cannot be cured, such as lung cancer, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF).
Palliative care is encouraged early in your disease diagnosis and journey to improve your quality of life by managing symptoms, helping with communication, assisting in navigating the numerous decisions that can evolve when faced with a life-limiting illness, and providing family support. It is offered in a number of settings including within your own home, aged care facility, hospital or a hospice and can be introduced whilst receiving active treatment as well as working alongside your primary treating team.
Palliative care is delivered by a team of health professionals who work together with your treating team to initially provide an extra layer of support which may occur at any stage in your journey. This involvement by palliative care does not indicate that you cannot continue receiving your varying treatments. Many people will continue their therapies whilst receiving input from their palliative care team. The essence of palliative care is to deliver the best level of symptom management coupled with psychosocial support and assistance with decision making to ultimately improve your quality of life.
As there are advances in treatments available and the management of chronic illnesses, we are also seeing the advances in palliative care