Supportive and Palliative Care

Patients at the beach

Lung Foundation Australia recognises supportive and palliative care as a fundamental stage of care in living with chronic lung diseases. Supportive and palliative care allows people with lung diseases to enhance their quality of life in a way that is meaningful to them. It also supports families and carers in their adjustments to some of the lifestyle changes they may have to face.

The Lung Foundation has developed the following definition for patients to understand the term ‘Supportive and Palliative Care’.

When you have an advanced and progressive lung disease with little or no prospect of cure it is the aim of supportive and palliative care to achieve the best possible quality of life for the individual patient, their caregivers and family by:

  • Living as actively as possible
  • Optimising function and comfort physically, socially, emotionally and spiritually
  • Minimising and actively managing symptoms and suffering (breathlessness, cough, fatigue, pain, anxiety, depression and other distressing symptoms).
  • Providing adequate knowledge and open communication for patients and carers to help them make timely and informed decisions
  • Specifically offers support to carers during the persons illness and subsequently
  • Focuses on quality of life and continues to support people, may death become inevitable.

Lung Foundation Australia - Position Statement for Supportive and Palliative care

Better Living with your lung disease – Self-management DVD

In late 2012 Lung Foundation Australia received a funding grant from the Department of Health to implement a self-management project for those affected by lung disease into our services. This project included the development of a 10 part educational DVD series for patients and carers.

Below is video #10 ‘Supportive care and end of life issues’. For more information or to view the other DVDs click here.

The Lung Foundation Australia – Chronic Lung Disease Self-Management project is supported by funding from the Australian Government under the Chronic Disease Prevention and Service Improvement Fund.

Lung Foundation Australia has launched the Quality of Life checklist. This tool facilitates an early conversation between patients and health professionals about their quality of life and supportive and palliative care services. For more information on the checklist, click on the Quality of Life Checklist tab on the left hand side. To take the checklist, click banner below.

QOL Checklist - Small Banner

Patient Stories

Consumers Health Forum of Australia and Palliative Care Australia have been working together to capture peoples experiences and stories about supportive and palliative care. Lung Foundation have identified the lung focused stories, you can watch these specific stories below.  If you would like to view others in the series please visit the Our Health Website.

Thanks to Palliative Care Australia and Consumers Health Forum of Australia for sharing their patient stories.

Kaye’s Story

Margaret and John

Roger’s Story

This story is part of the part of the multi-award winning documentary series, LIFE before Death. To find out more about the series click here.

The Lung Foundation supports a number of supportive and palliative care focused organisations who have produced a range of helpful and informative resources. Please click the link below to view available resources for health professionals, patients and carers.

PCA Australia logo_FINALSPalliative Care Australia

Palliative Care Australia (PCA) is the peak national organisation representing the interests of all those who share the ideal of quality care at the end of life. PCA works to raise awareness of palliative and end of life care, improve the understanding and availability of services across Australia, and encourage discussion to support improved knowledge networks.
CareSearch Palliative Care Knowledge Network

CareSearch Palliative Care Knowledge Network is an extensive online resource of palliative care information and evidence. CareSearch is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, and supported by Flinders University and Health Insite. All materials included in this website are reviewed for quality and relevance.

Click the link below for resources and information for:
Patients and carers

Click the links below for resources and information for health professionals:
Clinical Practice
Professional Groups
Carers Australia

Carers Australia is the peak national body representing Australia’s carers. They take a leadership role and respond to carers’ needs and those of the people they care for, being mindful of their financial challenges and in many cases, lack of social inclusion. Carers Australia advocates on behalf of Australia’s carers to influence policies and services at a national level. They work collaboratively with partners and their member organisations, the state and territory carers associations, to deliver a range of essential national carer services. Click the link below to find out more about Carers Australia
LifeCircle Australia Limited

LifeCircle Australia’s vision is ‘Australians living and dying well’. LifeCircle supports those caring for, and those facing life threatening illness and end of life by sharing knowledge, information and experience to support a ‘good end of life’ for all involved. LifeCircle helps build resilience and capacity to care within communities and support people to live well right to the end. LifeCircle offers one to one mentoring for those caring for someone at end of life, telephone counselling for those affected by serious illness and at end of life, and community events that help people to plan for the later years. Their dedicated staff and experienced, trained volunteers help thousands of Australians every year. For more information about Lifecircle and the work they do visit their website.

PEPA is a program that enables health professionals to deliver better care for people who are dying through experience based learning and best practice education. PEPA provides Australia’s only free placements in palliative care services for practicing health professionals (2-5 days duration) and free palliative approach workshops.
Consumers Health Forum (CHF) is the peak organisation providing leadership in representing the interests of Australian health care consumers. We work to achieve safe, good quality, timely health care for all Australians, supported by the best health information and systems the country can afford. One of the best ways to improve healthcare is to listen and learn from the experiences of consumers – the everyday Australians who use and pay for our health care system. That’s why CHF have established the OurHealth website to help give consumers a stronger voice in health policy decisions. OurHealth is here to help you find health information that will help you with your health care, and to invite you to ‘have a say’ about your health care experience and the way you would like it to change.
Decision Assist Logo 150pxDecision Assist

Decision Assist is a program for health professionals to help deliver palliative care and advance care planning in residential and community aged care. This will help to meet a vital need as the population ages. This program includes a national telephone advisory service - 1300 668 908, an aged care training program, education package for GPs, Linkages Project and easily accessible information through their website.