Palliative Care in RAC

Residents often indicate that the aged care home is the place where they wish to die when their time comes. In most cases, you will be able to stay in your aged care home. You may need to leave if your aged care home is unable to provide the care and support that you need. You should discuss your wishes with the staff. 

Palliative care aims to ensure the best quality of life for a resident when death is inevitable. This could be by controlling physical problems such as pain. It can also help with emotional, spiritual and social needs.

Useful Tip

Palliative care is not giving up. It is about doing all that should be done, and can be done, to provide care and comfort to a dying person and their loved ones.

Staff in aged care can ask specialist palliative care teams for advice and equipment. This can help them to better manage troubling symptoms. Sometimes a short stay in hospital is needed. This may be for symptom control or to confirm a diagnosis. It may also be to check if the resident’s condition can be reversed. If you need to go to hospital for care or treatment, your place will be held in the home.

Some low care facilities, especially very small hostels, may have few resources. They may not be able to provide complex care or palliative care over a long time. If so, staff will talk to you about what can be done and what is in the resident’s best interests. If necessary, they will try to find an alternative care service that is acceptable.

When a resident requires palliative care, the GP and the nurses will talk to the resident and family. They will look at any care needs. This is to make sure that the resident’s wishes are respected. It is also to make sure that symptoms like pain are well managed. A resident may have previously been admitted to a hospice. If so, the palliative care team from the hospice may continue to see them. 

Useful Tip

If you are concerned about the care your relative is receiving, ask to speak to the Registered Nurse. You can also make an appointment with the Manager/Director of Nursing. Many people find it helpful to make a list of the concerns that they wish to discuss and to bring the list to the meeting.

Page created 11 July 2019


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For Patients, Carers and Families