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Hear from staff working in palliative care about what it means to them

Tags: Ageing well, Hummingbird House, Palliative and hospice care

Hummingbird House client in wheelchair with therapy dog

This National Palliative Care Week we recognise all of those working in palliative care in our services. This group of people play an extraordinary role in bringing comfort and choice to people and their families in the most challenging of times.

Despite the deep sadness a palliative diagnosis can bring, those walking alongside them bring moments of joy, and ensure their journey is one that feels personal and aligned with how they have lived their life.

To mark National Palliative Care Week we have asked some of our staff 'What does palliative care mean to you?', and we will be sharing their responses with you.

As someone that has worked in palliative care my entire nursing career, I am very passionate about the journey, and patient and families' experience of palliative care.

Palliative care is about the patient being able to fully enjoy their remaining life, however short or long that may be, doing what they love, being with those they want to be with, and making beautiful memories not only for themselves but for those who will be left behind. It is about providing dignity and support to continue living their best lives, with pain and symptoms well managed, and without being fearful of their journey in health or death.

Some patients have more time than others, and health declines rapidly for some, however, I believe palliative care is about living life in the here and now, and enjoying everything and those closest to them to the max. Palliative care is an individual path with extra layers of support to enjoy the journey.

Sheridan Hertrick, Enrolled Nurse, Hummingbird House

I suppose the difference between palliative care nursing and general nursing is that you are caring for the whole person and not a specific part of the body or a disease. This includes caring for the resident and the family’s social, emotional and spiritual needs and giving them the best quality of life they can have for the time they have left.

'Of course, caring for dying residents can be sad as it is about loss, but it can also be very rewarding. Some end-of-life wishes are very specific. One that I will remember is a resident that was frightened of dying in a bed. When we believed her death was close and her symptoms were relieved, we managed to get her into a chair and wheel her into the sun. She passed away peacefully 45 minutes later with the family by her side. The family was extremely grateful and it is a memory I will have forever.

- Andre, Client Clinical Support, Parkview Aged Care Community



Palliative care at Wesley Mission Queensland 

Wesley Mission Queensland is a leading provider of palliative and hospice care. We aim to create memories to last a lifetime in a medically-supported home away from home, for those who need palliative care and short break stays. 

Specialist palliative care for children

Hummingbird House at Chermside is Queensland’s only children’s hospice. Their staff provides care at the end of life for children, and their families. Learn more.

Palliative care for adults

The Hopewell Centre at Arundel offers services to help with hospice and palliative care, respite, grief and bereavement support. Learn more.

Hopewell Outreach

Receiving palliative care at home means that our patients are close to their belongings and memories, all while receiving the best care and support. Learn more.

Palliative care at our Residential Aged Care communities

We encourage and support advance care planning to help you and your family plan your care requirements as your needs change, including offering a palliative approach to care. Palliative care is available at all Wesley Mission Queensland aged care homes. Learn more.

Donate today to palliative care services

Hummingbird House and Hopewell Hospice relies on the generosity and support of the Queensland Government and corporate and the community to ensure our service is here for every family that needs us, at no cost to them. Learn more.