Navigating palliative care can be an overwhelming process for most carers. With the multiple options and information at hand, choosing the right palliative care for your loved one can be very confusing.

If you’re looking to provide palliative care for your loved one, you’re not alone. From 2018 to 2019, around 83,430 people received palliative care-related hospitalisations in Australia. Choosing to give palliative care at home is also a popular option among carers, but what is it exactly?

Is palliative care end-of-life care? 

Palliative care is not end-of-life care. Although they can be similar, palliative care is given to a person with an active, progressive, and advanced disease with little or no prospect of cure and who is expected to die.

Meanwhile, end-of-life care refers to the care given during the last few weeks of life for a patient with a life-limiting illness. In either case, the goal is to optimise the patient’s quality of life and make them feel as comfortable as possible – regardless of the stage they’re in.

Palliative care at home 

Home often can be the best place to provide this level of care. Receiving care at home allows your loved one to feel comfortable and secure with a familiar environment, which is why it’s a popular option for most carers and their families.

You can certainly perform palliative care at home if you and your family have decided on a comfortable space for your loved one. In-home care is also flexible, as you can always move to a hospital or Aged Care Home as your needs change

When deciding on providing palliative treatment at home, it’s essential to consider circumstances such as the level of care that your loved one needs, the level of support you currently have, and if you require someone to provide professional and physical care to your loved one.

Palliative services at home

You can get many types of support if you choose to care for your loved one at home. These services include:

·         Nursing care – Getting a professional nurse to assist in tasks like wound dressing.

·         Domestic assistance – Getting help in household chores like cleaning and doing laundry.

·         Personal care – Assistance in daily activities such as showering and getting dressed.

·         Meals and other food services – Getting assistance in meal preparation and feeding.

·         Transport – Vehicle and driving assistance when going out for appointments.

·       Health support or counselling – Getting assistance through counselling and therapy for carers.

In-home palliative care is not a one-person job, and there’s always external support to help you with different tasks.

Managing palliative care at home

Palliative care extends beyond the physical care of your loved one. It’s a holistic approach that also focuses on giving emotional, spiritual, and social support to the carer and family.

With in-home care, you’d usually be supported by a team of doctors, nurses, GP, and specialists if needed. The type of services available for palliative treatment includes:

·         Pain and symptom relief for your loved one

·         Providing resources and equipment

·         Emotional and cultural support for you and your family

·         Providing referrals if you need respite care

·         Counselling and grief support

Is palliative care covered by Medicare?

Yes, palliative care is covered by Medicare. However, it may depend on if your loved one receives care at home or in a hospital. There may also be additional service costs for palliative services received outside a hospital and limits on how long your loved one can stay in the hospital.

Rebates depend on the individual, so it’s important to check on out-of-pocket expenses you may have to pay when looking for palliative services.

Managing palliative treatment and care  can be a challenging time for you as a carer, and it’s normal to be confused with all the information you see. CareAbout is here to help you make more informed choices and ultimately give you peace of mind during this challenging time.If you’re looking for palliative care for your loved one, visit CareAbout to look for various professional and trustworthy Home Care providers.