Age Concern New Zealand

Serving the needs of older people
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Palliative care

Close-up of medication line

People who are dying have a right to care that will promote their quality of life.

The focus is on supporting people who are suffering from terminal illness, and supporting their carers.

Palliative care:

  • affirms life and regards dying as a normal process
  • neither hastens nor postpones death
  • provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms
  • integrates the psychological and spiritual aspects of patient care
  • offers a support system to help you live as actively as possible
  • until death
  • offers a support system to help your family/whanau cope during your illness and in their own bereavement. (source: World Health Organisation)

Whatever the disease, however advanced it is, whatever treatments have already been given, there is always something that can be done to improve your quality of life.

This is achieved by working with you (and your family/whanau if you wish) to co-ordinate and deliver services responding to your needs.

Palliative care services

Palliative care is usually provided by a multi-disciplinary team made up of specialist palliative care doctors, nurses, social workers and allied health professionals. They work alongside, and in consultation with, GPs, and district nurses.

Palliative care is provided in various settings:

  • hospice
  • the acute hospital
  • our home
  • rest homes and other residential care locations.

How do I get palliative care?

You should be referred to a palliative care team by the doctor(s) who diagnosed your terminal illness.


Age Concern considers that older people with terminal illness should have access to good quality palliative care. The Government's Health of Older People Strategy and The New Zealand Palliative Care Strategy support the rights of older people to appropriate health care.


> READ The New Zealand Palliative Care Strategy

> VISIT Hospice New Zealand

Sources: Canterbury DHB Palliative care Service, Hospice New Zealand, Ministry of Health

We care: a campaign for carers