A needs based approach to palliative care means not all patients with a life threatening illness need complex care requiring specialist, interdisciplinary palliative care.  Many patients may most appropriately be cared for by primary care providers (health care in the community accessed directly by patients) using a ‘palliative approach’.  Equally, some patients may move between specialist, interdisciplinary palliative care and a palliative approach or vice versa, depending on the complexity of care needed at any particular time.

See also links and resources, in particular:

  • Guidelines for a palliative approach in residential aged care (May 2006) Australian Department of Health and Ageing
    This document provides evidence-based guidelines for the implementation of the palliative approach by all those caring for people with a life-limiting illness or condition in residential aged care facilities.
  • Affirming life – what is a palliative approach? A guide for family and friends with loved ones in aged care
    This guide provides information for family and friends to help them understand the palliative approach provided in residential aged care and encourage a partnership between family/friends and residential aged care service providers; this guide is based on the above Guidelines for a palliative approach in residential aged care (May 2006).
  • Guidelines for a palliative approach in aged care in the community setting (Jun 2011) Australian Department of Health and Ageing
    These guidelines are tailored for palliative care in the community setting; they include advance care planning, symptom assessment and managed, psychosocial care and spiritual support and a palliative approach to Aboriginal and Torres Strait people from Islander people and culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.