Understanding Palliative Care
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Understanding Palliative Care
Support and information
There is a range of services that can help with palliative care. The availability of services may vary depending on where you live. Some services are free, but others may have a cost. Talk to your health care team or call Cancer Council 13 11 20 to find out what services are available.
Useful contacts are below.
Carer Gateway – Practical information, support and useful resources for carers. Call 1800 422 737 or visit carergateway.gov.au.
Carers Australia – National body working with state and territory Carers Associations to provide information and advocacy for carers. Visit carersaustralia.com.au.
Young carers – Support for young people under 25 caring for a family member or friend. Visit youngcarersnetwork.com.au.
Australian Psychological Society – look for a practitioner in your area. Visit psychology.org.au.
Better Access initiative – Information about Medicare rebates for mental health services organised through your GP. Visit health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/better-access-initiative.
Beyond Blue – 24-hour telephone counselling service; online and email counselling available seven days a week. Call 1300 22 4636 or visit beyondblue.org.au.
Cancer Council’s peer support programs – Connect with others affected by cancer online, by phone or in person. Call Cancer Council 13 11 20.
Suicide Call Back Service – 24-hour telephone and online counselling for people affected by suicide. Call 1300 659 467 or visit suicidecallbackservice.org.au.
Independent Living Centre Australia – Advice on products and services to help with aspects of day-to-day living, including mobility, sleeping, eating and transport. Call 1300 885 886.
Cancer Council’s Legal and Financial Referral Service – Referral service for people affected by cancer needing professional advice; free for eligible clients. Call Cancer Council 13 11 20.
Centrelink – Offers financial support for people with a long-term illness and for carers. Call 132 717 or visit servicesaustralia.gov.au.
NDIS – Funding and support for people aged under 65 who have a permanent and significant disability. Call 1800 800 110 or visit ndis.gov.au.
National Debt Helpline – Help with debt problems and finding a financial counsellor. Call 1800 007 007 or visit ndh.org.au.
Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) – Assistance with the cost of prescription medicines. Visit pbs.gov.au.
You can also talk to the social worker on your palliative care team who may be able to help you find other legal or financial support.
Advance Care Planning Australia – Information about planning for your future health care, including advance care directives. Call 1300 208 582 or visit advancecareplanning.org.au.
Dying to Talk – Palliative Care Australia website encouraging Australians to talk about dying; includes discussion starters. Visit dyingtotalk.org.au.
The Groundswell Project – Community organisation using creativity to promote resilience and wellbeing throughout all phases of life. Visit thegroundswellproject.com.
My Aged Care – Information about different types of aged care services and eligibility. Call 1800 200 422 or visit myagedcare.gov.au.
Talk to your palliative care team, GP and/or health fund – Some local councils provide services in the home or in the community.
End of Life Law in Australia – Information from the Australian Centre for Health Law Research on the law relating to advance directives, stopping treatment, palliative care and voluntary assisted dying. Visit end-of-life.qut.edu.au.
Public Trustee South Australia – Help you prepare a will and manage your finances. Visit publictrustee.sa.gov.au.
CareSearch – Evidence-based palliative care information and links to services, as well as resources for health professionals. Visit caresearch.com.au.
Palliative Care Australia – Information and resources; can link you to your local palliative care office. Also has a directory of services. Visit palliativecare.org.au.
Carer Gateway – Links to respite care at home, in a respite care centre or, in some cases, in a hospital or palliative care unit. Call 1800 422 737 or visit
Talk to your palliative care team or GP – Many hospitals have a spiritual care practitioner (pastoral carer).
Cancer Council Online Community – An online discussion forum where people can connect with each other any time, ask or answer questions, or
write a blog about their experiences. Visit cancercouncil.com.au/OC.
Cancer Council’s telephone support groups – Includes groups for people with advanced cancer, for carers and for the bereaved. Call Cancer Council 13 11 20.
Cancer Council podcasts – Information and insights for anyone affected by cancer. Separate series about advanced cancer. Visit cancercouncil.com.au/podcasts.
Understanding Palliative CareDownload PDF
This information is reviewed by
This information was last reviewed August 2021 by the following expert content reviewers: Dr Cynthia Parr, Specialist in Palliative Care, HammondCare and Macquarie University Hospital, NSW; Dr Lisa Cuddeford, Clinical Lead, WA Paediatric Palliative Care Service, WA; Dr Laura Kirsten, Principal Clinical Psychologist, Nepean Cancer Care Centre, NSW; Penny Neller, Project Coordinator, National Palliative Care Projects, Australian Centre for Health Law Research, Queensland University of Technology, QLD; Caitriona Nienaber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA; A/Prof Peter Poon, Director, Supportive and Palliative Care, Monash Health, and Adjunct Associate Professor, Monash University, VIC; Dr Kathy Pope, Radiation Oncologist, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Kate Reed-Cox, Nurse Practitioner National Clinical Advisor, Palliative Care Australia; Juliane Samara, Nurse Practitioner, Clare Holland House – Specialist Palliative Aged Care, Calvary Public Hospital, ACT; Annabelle Solomon, Consumer; Silvia Stickel, Consumer; Kaitlyn Thorne, Manager, PalAssist, Cancer Council Queensland; Kim Vu, Consumer; Rosie Whitford, Social Worker – Grief, Bereavement and Community Palliative Care, Prince of Wales Hospital, NSW.