Hearing that your illness cannot be cured is frightening.
It is important to ask for help and support when you need it.
The dying process is different for everyone
It can mean changes in all parts of your life.
Knowing what support is available and how to access it can help you to live as well as you can.
Palliative care can help you find peace and meaning when you face an incurable illness.
What is palliative care?
Palliative care offers you and your loved ones support to live, die and grieve well. It does not aim to find a cure for your illness but can be undertaken alongside curative treatments.
Palliative care can include:
- support for you to live as actively as possible
- relief from pain, nausea, shortness of breath and other symptoms
- access to services like respite care, home help and financial support
- equipment to help you live at home
- support for your emotional, social and spiritual concerns
- support to meet your cultural obligations
- counselling and grief support for you, your family and loved ones.
Who is palliative care for?
Palliative care is for anyone diagnosed with a life-limiting illness, it includes:
- any age
- any diagnosis
- access at any stage from diagnosis throughout the illness
- access alongside curative treatments (eg. chemotherapy, dialysis).
Early referral can improve your quality of life.
Palliative care also provides support and advice for family and carers.
Planning for the future
A serious illness can take away your ability to make or communicate your end-of-life decisions.
Starting the conversation with your doctor and loved ones about your treatment choices will help everyone be prepared.
This conversation is known as advance care planning.
“Palliative care does not mean the end of treatment – it means making choices about which treatments are important to you, and which are not.”
“Palliative care has walked alongside me since my diagnosis. They have been a support for me and my family every step of the way.”
Speak to your doctor about your options and preferences for palliative care.
HealthyWA is operated by the Department of Health and has information about palliative care in Western Australia.
Visit the website:
Palliative Care WA has substantial information about local services, resources and events.
Call the Palliative Care Helpline:
1800 573 299
9:00am to 5:00pm, 7 days a week
Visit their website: palliativecarewa.asn.au
Advance Care Planning Australia has resources to help you start the conversation about end of life care with your loved ones and health professionals.
Visit their website: