End-of-life and palliative care focus on improving your quality of life – helping you manage symptoms and providing emotional, spiritual, and practical support as you need it.
Some people may have a condition causing them to be very ill and may need palliative care for only a few weeks. Others may need end-of-life and palliative care at intervals over a period of months or years.
End of life care Orem is best commenced early in the disease process to help you maintain the best quality of life, according to your wishes, for as long as possible.
You can receive palliative care in your home, at a specialist inpatient palliative care unit, or in a local hospital. End of life and palliative care extends to providing support for families, caregivers, and others after death has occurred.
There may be times when you need more care than can be given at home, and you may decide to move into residential care.
If your condition fluctuates, worsens, or becomes complex, you may need care in a hospital or an inpatient specialist palliative care unit. Depending on where you live, the closest palliative care unit may be based in a local hospital. Often you can return home after a period of inpatient care.
You may need care at an inpatient palliative care unit or hospital for one or more of the following reasons:
- symptom management – assessment, monitoring, and nursing care can be provided to manage symptoms such as severe pain and nausea
- complex needs – your medical or other needs may become complex, and specialist care is more easily available 24 hours a day in an inpatient facility
- Respite – you may be admitted to care for a few days or weeks so that your family or caretaker can have a break and take care of their own lives. You can return home after respite care
- Care as the end of life approaches – you or your caretaker may decide that it is not possible for you to be cared for properly at home as you approach the end of your life.
Inpatient palliative care units are designed to support you when you can no longer get the care you need at home. Inpatient specialist palliative care units in hospitals are designed to be as ‘homely’ as possible. You are always free to bring in items from the home to make your stay more comfortable.
Inpatient palliative care units can include facilities, such as lounges and televisions, music players, kitchens, meditation rooms, internet access, and gardens. If you have a particular interest or hobby, ask a family or staff member to get you the things you need to pursue.
A specialist palliative care doctor will manage your medical care along with other specialist palliative care health professionals and your GP. If you have been seeing a counselor, nurse, or social worker at home, you will be able to see similar health care professionals while in the palliative care unit.
Specialist palliative care staff work in many of Victoria’s major public hospitals. They work together with your community palliative care service to assess and manage your palliative care needs.
You may need to have medical treatment in a hospital as part of your ongoing palliative care program, or you may need to have palliative care while you are recovering from surgery. Whether you stay in hospital or go home will depend on your preferences and your immediate needs.
You can contact comfort care Orem services directly, or you can be referred by your doctor, nurse or local health provider, your caretaker, or a family member.