Looking to become a Helper? Click here

A dependable support community you can trust

Accessing Palliative Care A Step-by-Step Guide

Palliative Care

Updated 06-01-2024

Accessing Palliative Care A Step-by-Step Guide

Palliative care is a compassionate approach to medical treatment focussed on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness. The goal is to improve the quality of life for both the patient and their family. In Australia, accessing palliative care services can be a pivotal step in managing a life-limiting condition. This comprehensive guide aims to shed light on how individuals and families can navigate the healthcare system to obtain the support they need.

Understanding Palliative Care

Before diving into the logistics of accessing services, it's vital to have a clear understanding of what palliative care entails. Palliative care is a multi-disciplinary approach that caters to individuals with chronic, advanced, or life-threatening illnesses. It involves a team of health professionals who work together to provide medical, psychological, and spiritual support tailored to a patient's individual needs.

Recognising When It's Time for Palliative Care

Identifying the appropriate time to seek palliative care is the first crucial step. One common misconception is that palliative care is only for the final days or weeks of life, but in truth, it can be beneficial at any stage of a serious illness. Symptoms such as uncontrolled pain, frequent hospitalisations, and significant distress can indicate that a patient may benefit from palliative care.

Discussing Options with Your Doctor

Open communication with your General Practitioner (GP) or specialist is essential. They can provide information about palliative care options and help assess whether this approach aligns with the current state of your health or that of your loved one.

Referral to Palliative Care Services

Typically, accessing pallillary care requires a referral. Your doctor can refer you to a palliative care specialist or team. In Australia, referrals can lead to various services, including in-home support, outpatient care, or in-patient care at a hospital or hospice.

Evaluating Palliative Care Providers

Choosing a provider involves considering multiple factors, such as location, expertise, and the range of services offered. In Australia, public health systems, private organisations, and non-for-profit groups offer palliative care services. When selecting a provider, it's important to ensure they're accredited and have a sound reputation for delivering compassionate and comprehensive care.

Creating a Palliative Care Plan

Upon connecting with a palliative care team, the next step will be creating a care plan. This personalised plan outlines the treatment and support services aligned with the patient's needs and preferences. It may include pain and symptom management, psychological and social support, and end-of-life care planning.

Understanding Funding and Medicare Support

Funding for palliative care can come from various sources in Australia, including Medicare, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), private health insurance, and other government-funded programs. Your palliative care team can guide you through understanding the financial aspects and any available subsidies.

Continuing Communication and Reassessment

Regular communication with your care team ensures that the palliative care plan remains effective and responsive to changing needs. Reassessments are crucial as they help in adapting the plan to provide the best possible quality of life throughout the course of the illness.

Engaging with Support Networks

Support networks play an integral role in the palliative care journey. Various community and online resources are available for patients and families, offering emotional support, practical advice, and shared experiences.

It's also important to address any legal and ethical issues pertaining to palliative care, such as advance care directives, which clarify a patient's preferences for future medical treatment.


Palliative care is about living as fully and comfortably as possible, despite a serious illness. By following this step-by-step guide, Australians can access the care they need with confidence. Embracing this supportive approach can significantly improve the journey for patients and their families, ensuring every individual is treated with dignity, compassion, and respect.

About the Author

Olivia is a seasoned professional with an extensive career spanning the Aged Care sector, bringing decades of experience to her role. Her comprehensive understanding of Aged Care services and practices is a testament to her dedication. Olivia’s gratitude extends to those who have generously shared their knowledge and insights with her over the years, contributing to her wealth of expertise.
Olivia’s articles reflect her commitment to practical and informative content. They skillfully combine her industry know-how with real-world insights, providing valuable resources for navigating the complexities of the Aged Care sector. Olivia stands as a reliable advocate for delivering compassionate and effective care to elderly individuals, offering her support not only to fellow caregivers and professionals but also to those seeking to gain a deeper understanding of the sector.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the 3 Forms of Palliative Care?

Palliative care is a specialised area of health care that focuses on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient ... read more

What Are the Benefits of in Home Palliative Care?

In the journey towards the end of life, in-home palliative care stands as a beacon of comfort, offering a personalised and compassionate approach for individuals facing life-limiting illnesses. The... read more

What Are the Examples of Palliative Care at Home?

Palliative care at home is a compassionate form of healthcare that focuses on providing relief from the symptoms, pain, and stress of a serious illness. It is designed to improve the quality of lif... read more

What Do Nurses Do in Palliative Care at Home?

Palliative care at home plays a crucial role in maintaining the dignity, comfort, and quality of life for individuals with serious, chronic, or life-limiting illnesses. Nurses are the cornerstone o... read more

What Is the Difference Between Hospice and Palliative Care?

Understanding the distinction between hospice and palliative care is crucial for patients and their loved ones seeking appropriate support during serious illnesses. Although both provide comfort, t... read more

When Should Someone Be Offered Palliative Care?

Palliative care is a specialised form of medical care for individuals with serious illnesses. It focuses on providing relief from symptoms, pain, and the stress of a serious illness—whatever the ... read more

Why Choose Kinder Caring for Your Home Care Needs?

Contact us today to discover how our personalised care plans can make a significant difference in your life, upholding our commitment to care and compassion.

A dependable support community you can trust

Tradition of Trust & Excellence

At Kinder Caring, we stand as guardians of a 25-year heritage, offering top-notch home care services. Our deep understanding and vast experience make us an ideal choice for those seeking excellence in community care.

A dependable support community you can trust

Tailored Care for Your Lifestyle

We specialise in creating personalised care plans, understanding each client’s unique needs. Our Care Managers ensure every care aspect is bespoke, valuing each individual’s distinct preferences and requirements.

A dependable support community you can trust

Empowering Your Choice

Kinder Caring respects your decision-making freedom. Choose between our in-house experts or skilled independent contractors for care that perfectly fits your lifestyle, providing genuine flexibility.

A dependable support community you can trust

Decades of Service

Over 25 years, Kinder Caring has dedicated over 2.5 million hours to supporting more than 7,400 individuals, reflecting our commitment to impactful, high-quality care.

A dependable support community you can trust

A Community of Professionals

Our team, chosen for skill and compassion, forms the backbone of Kinder Caring. We focus on building a strong, caring team committed to your comfort and well-being.

A dependable support community you can trust

Accreditation & Improvement

Kinder Caring’s adherence to the ACIS and investment in ongoing staff development reflect our commitment to providing care that meets the highest quality and contemporary standards.

A dependable support community you can trust

Building Trusted Relationships

We’re more than care providers; we’re partners in your health journey. With a widespread network and collaborations with funding organisations, we offer accessible, superior care across NSW, QLD & VIC.

A dependable support community you can trust

Join the Kinder Caring Family

Choosing Kinder Caring means joining a family dedicated to your independence and well-being. Be part of our 25-year journey, continuing our legacy of impactful, caring service.

Our happy clients

Bridging the gap between you and an enhanced quality of life, Kinder Caring is committed to nurturing your independence, and delivering compassionate care in the comfort of your home.

A dependable support community you can trust

We’re immensely grateful for Kinder Caring’s assistance over the past months. A special shoutout to Nicole Coupland, who has been an exceptional carer for Mum. Thank you for your unwavering support.

- Carolina,
Willoughby, NSW
A dependable support community you can trust

We are so pleased with the care Dad has been receiving from Kinder Caring, especially from Aster. She has shown professionalism and dedication. We appreciate the company’s flexibility in accommodating our requests, like Aster wearing a mask and gloves. The temporary rail adjustments and the proactive approach in ensuring the best care for Dad is commendable. Thank you, Kinder Caring.

- Karin,
Kealba, VIC
A dependable support community you can trust

Kinder Caring has been exceptional in their service. They provided a wonderful carer who is exceptional at what she does. Not only did they promptly get my quote approved, but they also took care of my window cleaning needs and organized transportation for my medical appointments. I couldn’t be happier!

- Maria,
Melton, VIC
A dependable support community you can trust

There was so much more to caring for Dad than we ever thought. Kinder Caring provided everything we needed to support us; they became part of our family… they made a difficult time so much easier for us.

Lindfield NSW
A dependable support community you can trust

A huge thank you to all the nurses at Kinder Caring. Having your expertise, caring attitude and ongoing advice meant we did not have to place Dad into a nursing home or send him to hospital and therefore his last days spent with Mum and the family were very special for us all.

Mt Waverley Vic

Experience Exceptional Home Care with Kinder Caring!

Unlock 25 Years of Trusted Expertise: 2,500,000+ Hours of Dedicated Care delivered to 7,400+ people from 560,000+ Personalised Services

Your Journey to Peace of Mind Starts Here. Contact Us Today!

1300 796 675