What is palliative care?
Palliative care improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing life-threatening illness. It prevents and relieves suffering through the early identification, assessment and treatment of pain and other symptoms, including physical, emotional, psychosocial and spiritual.
Palliative care also empowers patients to decide which treatments they would like to continue, and which have become too burdensome and should be stopped.
There is strong evidence on the benefits of palliative care in relieving symptoms and pain, but also improving quality of life, mood, satisfaction with care (for patients and their carers) and, in some cases, even survival.
And yet many Australians – including healthcare workers – are unclear about how palliative care works and are unaware of its benefits.