What are the principles of palliative care?

February 12, 2021 Palliative care

What are the principles of palliative care?

WHO defines palliative care as “the active total care of patients whose disease is not responsive to curative treatment. Control of pain, other symptoms, and psychological, social and spiritual problems, is paramount. The goal of palliative care is the achievement of the best quality of life for patients and their families.”

Palliative care incorporates a whole variety of care aspects. The patient is at the end of their life and the key aim is to keep them comfortable as possible for their remaining days. It can seem like a scary process, but essentially it’s a support system to help a patient and their loved ones cope.

There are many attitudes and principles required for successful palliative care. It is not simply the process a patient would go through on their own in hospital. It is the integrated and overall care a patient and their family would receive.

Some key principles of successful Palliative Care include:


  • A caring attitudesensitivity, empathy and compassion towards the patient and concern for all aspects of a patient’s suffering, not just the medical issues is key. Realising that every patient is unique and their needs are all different even though they may have the same condition. This can influence when planning the needs of care for the individual.
  • Relief from painPhysical pain is an unfortunate part of many health conditions at the end-of-life stage. Although it is a common symptom, not everyone receiving palliative care support will experience pain. Pain relief should therefore be something that includes the physical, psychological, social, and spiritual aspects of suffering.
  • Care excellence Palliative care should deliver the best possible medical, nursing and allied health care that is available and appropriate. An overall plan allows the Nurse and Carers to provide consistent medical care which can lessen any medical emergencies if they were to happen.
  • Communication This is key when discussing all processes of Palliative care with the patient and their families. Good communication between all the health care professionals involved in a patient’s care is essential and is fundamental to many aspects of palliative care. This communication should also continue through to the patient and their families, informing them along the way.
  • Support system for the patients and their family A very important aspect of Palliative Care is supporting those involved by delivering the best possible medical, nursing and allied health care that is available and appropriate. Palliative care, whether at home or in a hospital, often succeeds or fails to depend on the care and support provided for the caring relatives.


Where can people access Palliative Care?

 Palliative care is provided where the person and their family want, where possible. It is not exclusively locked into a clinical or hospital setting.

This may include:

  • At home
  • In hospital
  • In a hospice
  • In a residential aged care facility

Cavendish Homecare

At Cavendish Homecare we are experts in providing Palliative Care for individuals with terminal illnesses who want to remain in their own homes. We work to support the patients and their families with sensitive and comforting Palliative Care.

Why choose us?

We understand that at such a stressful and sensitive time specialist nursing care and trustworthy support can make a huge difference during Palliative Care. Our team of Homecare Managers, Registered Nurses and Carers have a wealth of Palliative care experience and are experts at providing practical and emotional support and care for the patient and their families.

All our services are personalised to suit specific needs. If you would like to discuss your Palliative Care needs and potential costs, please contact one of our experts, who will be happy to help.