Sensitive and Compassionate Palliative Care
Palliative care supports people with a terminal illness to live as comfortably as possible in the final chapter of their lives. Good palliative care is tailored to the individual – treating their spiritual, social, emotional and physical needs. In conjunction to respite care and medical treatment, it is a family-centric and holistic approach to relieving discomfort during end of life care.
At Scalabrini we believe that all people deserve to have access to palliative care that respects their dignity and their wishes.
Who needs palliative care?
Palliative care is for people who have a terminal condition. It may be suitable to enter palliative care at the time of diagnosis. The early involvement of the person and their family is often key to effective care. Terminal conditions that require palliative care include:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Some cancers
- Heart , kidney and Respiratory Conditions
While end of life care isn’t an easy discussion to have, it’s always recommended to undertake advance care planning when needed. Coming to the end of life has a strong emotional and physiological impact, so advance palliative care planning is an effective way to manage pain, emotions and difficult decisions that lie ahead.
Palliative care and dementia
With no known cure, Dementia is considered a terminal condition. Because of this, we believe that comprehensive palliative care is an important service for the wellbeing of individuals with dementia related diseases. As a neurological condition, dementia needs to be treated with an individually centred approach – from early onset through to late-stage palliative care.
At Scalabrini, Palliative care for dementia is centred around a model of care that supports the changing needs of dementia as it develops.
Advance care planning
The progressive nature of dementia means people are less able to make sound decisions as time goes on. Families are often torn between what to do as they notice the needs of their loved one change. Health professionals have difficulty obtaining consent for pain relief and other treatments as the patient is unable to communicate.
Advance care planning exists to alleviate these problems. By organising their requirements when they have capacity to make decisions about their care needs, advance care planning gives people with dementia control over the treatment they’d like to receive. This gives family, health professionals and caregivers the ability to make informed decisions regarding palliative care while reducing feelings of guilt or doubt.
Preparing for end of life
There is no right way to emotionally prepare for end of life. Watching a loved one experience a terminal illness can create the same strong sense of loss and mourning as if that person has died, and everybody deals with this in a different way. Try to have forgiveness for others who may not know how to act in this difficult time.
There are many paths available to get support for the death of a friend or family member.
If you need counselling and emotional support, contact the National Carer Counselling Program on 1800 242 636. A short conversation can a do a lot to improve your stress-levels and ability to cope.
Respite care is available to give you an emotional and physical break. At Scalabrini we offer respite care, letting you readjust while we provide care in a safe and fulfilling environment. Get in touch today.
You can also connect with other carers to hear how they have coped. Contact a Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre on 1800 052 222 to find out more about carer support groups or respite care in Australia.
Grief and mourning
If you need support with grief and mourning, visit carergateway.gov.au to find out more ways to deal with grief. You can also contact:
Scalabrini’s approach to palliative care
Our aim is to provide support, alleviate pain and improve the person’s quality of life by addressing any painful or distressing symptoms, always showing respect and kindness.
Our Advance Care Planning process gives families, doctors and our care teams a clear understanding of the person’s values, health issues and what they would like from their future care.
Family and friends won’t be forgotten. We will be by your side and help you make plans to reflect your preferences.
“A person is a treasure. We try to understand a map of the world of the whole person. What is meaningful to them.”
Sister Maria Elena Figueroa.
Through prayer, companionship and grief support our religious sisters are on call 24 hours a day.
They affirm the dignity of human life and provide a foundation of spiritual and emotional comfort to people of all religions or faiths.
If you’re looking for more information on aged care and dementia, visit our Useful Links page for more helpful resources.
Other useful resources and contacts