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Costs and Economics

What we know

Older people are encouraged to be involved in decisions about where they will receive care at the end of life and the type of care they wish to receive. Palliative care provides effective and quality care to people with needs associated with life-limiting illnesses.   

Palliative care does not cost more than other forms of treatments. However, we do not understand the informal caregiving or out-of-pocket costs of individuals and families.

What can I do?

You can ask families if they are finding it difficult to cope financially. Use the five question financial prompt.

If the person is living in the community and being cared for by a family member or friend, he or she may be eligible for a carer’s payment.

Check if the person has a financial power of attorney who can manage financial affairs for them if they are not able.

My Aged Care has information on costs and financial advice.

 

What can I learn?

Gott M, Allen R, Moeke-Maxwell T, Gardiner C, Robinson J. 'No matter what the cost': A qualitative study of the financial costs faced by family and whānau caregivers within a palliative care context. Palliat Med. 2015 Jun;29(6):518-28.
This article on New Zealand caring provides some insight into costs that families can face.

CareSearch has information on costs associated with palliative care.

Watch Financial Planning, a video from the Carer Gateway.

 

What can my organisation do?

Encourage carers to make use of resources: Resources For, and About, Carers (on the CareSearch website)

Many medicines used in end of life care are available under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)

Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres can be recommended to family carers Phone: 1800 052 222

 

Five question financial prompt

As a result of caring have you/your household experienced any of the following financial stresses over the past 12 months?

  • Could not pay electricity, gas or telephone bills on time or unable to heat your home
  • Could not pay for car registration or insurance on time
  • Pawned or sold something
  • Went without meals; and/or 
  • Sought assistance from welfare/community organisations or financial help from friends or family.
Adapted from 2015 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers survey

 

Page updated 22 May 2017