Support for end-of-life care discussions

Hands of child and adults in hospital| Newsreel
Extra support is available for parents navigating end-of-life care for a child. | Photo: Ivan Balvan (iStock)

Parents coping with the heartbreaking scenario of dealing with end-of-life care of a child have some extra support.

A new set of resources have been created to help parents make informed and compassionate decisions.

Palliative Care Australia (PCA) Project Lead Rachel Callander said navigating end-of-life care for a child or young person was unfathomably difficult.

Ms Callander, the bereaved mother of Evie, said it was an emotionally-challenging journey marked by difficult decisions, with the location where that care took place one of the biggest considerations.

“Care at home, in hospital, or a hospice will make sense to different families for different reasons,” Ms Callander said.

She said the new resources would help families and health professionals discuss these important topics, with as much clarity and compassion as possible, during such a difficult time.

“Conversations regarding the location of end-of-life care are deeply personal and profoundly impactful on the experience a child and their loved ones have.”

PCA has co-designed the series of videos, fact sheets, and check lists with bereaved parents and health professionals.

“These End-of-Life Location resources are available now on the Paediatric Palliative Care website and have been created to assist parents, families, caregivers, and healthcare professionals in making informed and compassionate decisions that support quality of life for children and young people who are dying,” Ms Callander says.

Information and insights within the new resource are presented in two streams to cater for different needs and perspectives – one stream is geared toward parents and carers, the other to health professionals.

“However, both are incredibly insightful for anyone who is having conversations around end-of-life location care,” Ms Callander said.