Health professionals provide palliative care often with help from families
Palliative care focuses on quality of life and support for individual physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs. This broad support requires help from health professionals and family. The people involved will depend on your care needs and where care is provided.
Coordinating palliative care
When you are very ill many people including health professionals may be involved in your care. This may mean that you have to tell your story many times to different people.
You can have a serious illness for a long time. You may have difficulty remembering the details of all that has happened. Keeping a health diary can help. Write down the date with what symptoms you are having. Include your medications and what helps. Also put in the dates of appointments and any questions you have. If you keep a diary, then tell everyone involved in your care. Then you won’t always have to tell them your story again.
The management of your care works best when you, your carer and your health professionals are working together. There are ways that this can be organised. Sometimes a case manager will coordinate your care. The palliative care service, community nurse or GP may do this. This can be overlooked though, and things can get confusing.
You may think that this is happening in your case. You or your carer can ask your GP to arrange a case conference or family meeting. This will bring together everyone who is involved to better coordinate your care and understand what is happening. Your carer will often be the main person coordinating your care at home. They need to be involved in anything to do with your care.
Who will be in my palliative care team?
Apart from your carer there are many people who provide palliative care.
Some may specialise in palliative care and work full time in that role. Others include palliative care as an ongoing part of their daily work. This includes GPs and aged care nurses.
Each person will have different people involved in their care. This will depend on their individual needs. A palliative care team may include many people who work in health. Some of them are: