Curtin University is leading the research into the impact of providing earlier palliative care in home settings. Published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, the research has confirmed that offering community-based palliative care in the home setting, six month prior to the death, greatly reduces the cost of unplanned hospital admissions.

Apart from the obvious healthcare costs, the advantages of palliative care in the home setting include the familiarity of the home setting, connection with family and friends, interactions with pets and a sense of maintaining individuality and choice.

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The Meaningful Ageing Australia’s position is that meaning, purpose and connectedness are at the heart of quality of life and quality of care for older people.

Australia’s national peak body for spiritual care and ageing, Meaningful Ageing Australia has engaged in an Australian Government of Health funded project with partners Spiritual Health Victoria and the National Ageing Research Institute (NARI). The outcome has been the publishing of the National Guidelines for Spiritual Care in Aged Care.

There is increased awareness and a large body of evidence showing that pastoral care and spiritual care is an essential part of holistic care for everyone, particularly older people including importantly, those living with dementia.

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There is an increased understanding of how to support people through the ageing experience and during the palliative stage before death, which maintains respect and compassion in our shared human experience.