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Palliative Care needs care too

Dear Editor

On the weekend, the Liberal Party made a public promise to give an additional $140 million over four years to Palliative Care should the Coalition return to Government next year.

It has been welcomed by Palliative Care Victoria (PCV) which is currently petitioning for additional funding.

It is a vital announcement for an ageing population.

40,000 Victorians die every year and PCV believes at least a quarter of these don’t get the palliative help they need.  This funding will provide that to another 8000 people across the state.

It is support that is not only needed, but wanted.

Palliative care is an extraordinary service for those who have a terminal illness and helps them move with dignity towards their end of life.  It helps the patient and their family – physically and emotionally.

It is a respectfully humble service provider in an increasingly flashy medical world.

The word ‘palliative’ itself sounds like another term in a medical dictionary most of us don’t understand.

But what it really means is being there, doing the things that are needed for people who are no longer capable of looking after themselves.

It is a respectful, warm and caring support.

It can involve nurses or doctors visiting a patient’s home to tend to medical and pharmacy needs, or carers to look after bathing and eating requirements or household management.  Carers can even stay overnight.

Most importantly, it enables people to stay in the peace, comfort and familiarity of own homes at their end of life.

That is the golden aim.