Palliative care supports patients and families who are experiencing a potentially life-limiting condition, or an illness that is not responding to curative treatment.
Our palliative care helps you remain active and comfortable for as long as possible. We also help minimise any distress caused by pain and other symptoms. We support you to make important choices about your treatment and care.
Our caregivers do everything possible to ensure you and your family are fully supported when accessing our palliative care services.
Palliative care services
Our palliative care services support the physical, psychological, social and spiritual aspects of living with a life-limiting or terminal illness, including providing information, goal setting, and coordinating care.
Palliative care acknowledges dying as a natural part of life and includes good end-of-life care, but for some patients palliative care interventions have actually been shown to prolong life too.
We adopt a interdisciplinary approach involving a variety of health and social care professionals to help improve your quality of life. You are encouraged to be fully involved in the decision-making process when putting in place a palliative care plan.
Referrals to palliative care may be made through your treating doctor or General Practitioner. Your nurse can arrange referrals to other members of the palliative care service.
We always put your comfort and health needs first. Your caregivers may include:
- a palliative care specialist who will explain the benefits of different medications and treatment options available for the control of pain, nausea and other symptoms
- nurses who will be in regular contact with you and your family, to answer questions about your care, and advise you on how to manage your symptoms and your care when you return home
- medial experts who can provide advice and prescriptions for appropriate medications to manage pain and other symptoms in addition to expertise in excellent care
- a counsellor to provide formal emotional support and help you develop coping strategies
- a social worker to provide emotional support and provide information about community resources and practical matters
- allied health professionals who can assist with your ongoing needs
- a pastoral care service that provides confidential personal support, and spiritual and religious ministry for those who want it.
Palliative care at St John of God Berwick HospitalPalliative care is offered at St John of God Berwick Hospital and at our nearby St John of God Frankston Rehabilitation Hospital.
Our facilities are spacious and well equipped offering a home like setting so that you and your loved ones have comfortable spaces to be together. In addition our gardens, outdoor spaces and onsite cafes and lounges allow you and your flexibility in a comfortable environment.
Support services for patients and families
- Pastoral care: Our Pastoral Services caregivers provide a free service available to all patients regardless of their culture, faith and spiritual belief, including if they have no faith. Pastoral practitioners listen with respect to stories, are sensitive to the vulnerability of each person and foster resources of hope, courage, faith, trust and love.
- Cuddle beds: Generously funded by community donations, our cuddle beds allow loved ones to be physically close and lay together, deepening connection and providing comfort. Cuddle beds offer patients and loved ones a compassionate approach to end-of-life care.
- Medical Ward Visitor Program: Our trained volunteers provide a visiting service to patients so their loved ones can have some respite, safe in the knowledge that their loved one in hospital has some companionship while they are not in the room.*Volunteers interact with patients and families to provide companionship and friendly support. This may include conversation, reminiscing, sourcing the patient’s favourite music, service refreshments and more.
- Delta Therapy Dogs: Therapy dogs have a positive impact on social, emotional and physiological health, improving quality of life and well-being. Delta Therapy dogs visit our hospitals regularly, allowing patients to have some time with a specially trained therapy animal and helping those who may be missing their pets at home.
- Dignity Therapy: Dignity therapy aims to support patients by inviting them to reflect on things that are most important to them and memories they wish to pass on and leave for their family. Trained practitioners conduct a recorded interview and create an edited transcript to be treasured by loved ones. It has been shown to positively reduce stress and improve mood in patients at this time.
- Art and music therapy: Art and music therapy promote physical, mental and emotional wellbeing through the creative process and can be very beneficial to improving mood and self esteem, as well as reducing stress. Our qualified art and music therapists guide patients through music and art mediums like drawing, painting and collage.
- Dream a little dream: Dream A Little Dream is a special dedicated to those facing a life limiting illness. Funded by community donations, the program allows for small dreams and wishes to be granted for patients.
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