Holistic approach to palliative care required for consumers and carers

Palliative Care Australia, Consumers Health Forum of Australia and Carers Australia released the Consensus Statement: Carer and Consumer Engagement in Palliative Care and End-of-Life Care today at the National Palliative Care Week Parliamentary Breakfast in Canberra.

Palliative Care Australia CEO, Liz Callaghan said the consensus statement highlights the need for palliative care and end-of-life care to be strongly responsive to the needs, preferences and values of people, their families and carers.

“Dying is a normal part of life so it is important for all Australians to have discussions about death and dying and the type of care they wish to receive to ensure a quality end of life.

“Palliative and end-of-life care is an all-inclusive approach which aims to improve the quality of life for people living with a life-limiting illness, their families and carers.

“The consensus statement recognises the contributions of all those involved in the delivery of palliative and endof-life care and the need to support individuals, families, carers and staff through all stages of the illness and in bereavement.

“People should be able to access appropriate palliative care support, regardless of income, background, diagnosis, prognosis; they should be able to access palliative care when and where they need it. ” Ms Callaghan said.

The Consumers Health Forum CEO Leanne Wells welcomes the Palliative Care Consensus Statement as an important declaration of support for the right to quality palliative care in Australia.

“This statement reflects the growing recognition of the need for all Australians regardless of background or income to have access to quality palliative care when they need it. In some parts of Australia at least, the availability of the palliative care we would expect for our loved ones is uncertain.

“The universal access to quality acute hospital care we take for granted in Australia must also be the norm for palliative care outside hospital.

“So it is significant that we now have a statement that sets out what we should accept as standard features of palliative care, including early intervention to relieve pain, psychological and spiritual support to reduce suffering, and social support to address practical and financial problems of patients and their carers,” Ms Wells said.



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