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There are many services and resources that can help you providing care for someone with a life limiting illness. This can make a difference to your well-being and to the comfort and support of the person needing care. However, carers often don’t make use of these services because they don’t know they exist, they have no time to ask or they don’t want to feel a failure. These services and resources exist because the community and the government realises that the contribution of carers needs to be valued and supported. Below are a range of services that can help. Please make use of these services.
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Palliative care is care that helps people live their life as fully and as comfortably as possible when living with a life-limiting or terminal illness. Palliative care identifies and treats symptoms which may be physical, emotional, spiritual or social. GPs, aged care and community services as well as specialist palliative care services may all provide care to people coming to the end of their life.
You should talk to your health care provider about palliative care as an option. Palliative Care Australia has information on palliative care and also has a directory of palliative care services you can search.
There are palliative care organisations in each state or territory who can provide you with local information.
Carer Gateway provides an extensive range of services and resources for carers. They include:
Equipment Services Equipment can be important in enabling people to remain at home. Talk to the health care team about what is needed. Each state and territory has an equipment scheme. Equipment is usually loaned to you free or at low cost. These schemes are often means-tested (to see if you can pay for the service yourself or will need help), and some states have waiting lists for equipment.
The schemes are:
Grief and Loss Services When you are caring, you may feel grief not only about the expected loss of the person you are caring for but also losses associated with taking on the carer role. You may have given up or reduced you paid work, you may feel a loss of independence, and you may have less time for friends and a social life. You may also feel anxious with new responsibilities and the uncertainty of the future.
Carer Gateway offers a phone counselling service:
GriefLine provides an online support service from midday to 3am.