Palliative care is holistic care that focuses on relieving symptoms that may arise when you have a serious condition, regardless of age, diagnosis, or stage of illness. This type of care aims to improve the quality of life of people living with life-limiting conditions, and their families.
All health and social care professionals provide a level of palliative care. However, sometimes more specialised palliative care is needed, and healthcare professionals can be called on to provide advice about treatment options, guidance and care, and support with decision-making.
Through our palliative care programmes, Irish Hospice Foundation supports the delivery of best practice palliative care, at all levels, and within all settings, in Ireland.
Primary Palliative Care programme
Primary Palliative Care is the programme focussed on supporting the delivery of care to people who have advancing life-limiting conditions living at home in the community. This care involves improving quality of life through managing symptoms, and addressing psychological, social and spiritual issues. It is provided by a Primary Care Team made up of general practitioners (GPs), public health nurses (PHNs), community physiotherapists, community occupational therapists (OTs), psychologists, social workers and a range of other community-based staff. This team is supported by the Specialist Community Palliative Care team.
Palliative Care for All programme
Many people associate palliative care only with cancer, but palliative care can be provided to any person living with a life-limiting condition. These can include heart failure, advanced respiratory disease, advancing neurological illness, chronic kidney disease and dementia. Our ‘Palliative Care for All’ programme provides information and resources for those working with patients with life-limiting conditions such as these.
Children’s Palliative Care
The end-of-life care needs of children differ from those of adults. A child may be diagnosed with an incurable illness as a baby, but may live into late adolescence or beyond. Their physical, emotional, social and educational needs will change as he or she grows. Also, many children with life-limiting illness have disabilities of different kinds, and their needs can vary greatly.
Since our beginnings Irish Hospice Foundation has sought to ensure the needs of these children and their families are met. For over a decade we have been working in partnership with the HSE and other charities to ensure services are developed. Read more
Palliative Care – Model of Care
Our Palliative Care Programmes endeavour to align with the work of the National Clinical Programme for Palliative Care, whose Model of Care, published in 2019, aims that:
“Every person with a life-limiting or life-threatening condition can easily access a level of palliative care appropriate to their needs, regardless of care setting or diagnosis, in order to optimise quality of life”.