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End-of-life care

Support is available for older people nearing the end of their life, whether at home or in an aged care home. Support is also available for their families and carers.

Planning for end of life

It is a good idea to have a plan in place, which sets out what you would like to happen around medical care, now and in the future. This is important whether you are receiving aged care services or not. Read about:

Support through existing aged care services

Aged care services through My Aged Care can help you to stay as comfortable as possible during this final stage of life. Aged care providers can also help you access specialist palliative care services if needed. Read about:

There may be other government services available if you are not yet receiving aged care services.

Palliative care

Specialist palliative care services provide the best quality of life for a person with a terminal illness, and support for their family and carers.

You do not have to be receiving aged care services to access palliative care services. Doctors, aged care providers, state or territory health departments and community health services can help you access palliative care. Read about:

Support for families and carers

If you’re caring for someone nearing the end of their life, there is emotional support, counselling or help available to you.


If you need emergency respite care, phone your local Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre:

  • 1800 052 222 during business hours (Monday to Friday, 8.30am–5.00pm)
  • 1800 059 059 outside business hours.

Last reviewed: 14 May, 2018.