(03) 9455 0822 After Hours (existing clients only): (03) 9483 7940. Contact Palliative Care Advice on 1800 360 000 for general information  
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What Our Team Can Offer

Banksia Palliative Care Service Inc.

What the Team Can Offer to Patients, Carers and Families

In line with our Vision, Values and Mission, Banksia provides a wide and diverse range of services to our clients.

Our services include: 

  • Home Based Service with 24 hour telephone availability, to discuss concerns patients and carers may have.
  • Co-ordination of health services for patients living at home and close liaison with their General Practitioners and Specialists.
  • Specialist Palliative Care Nurses who have expertise in controlling symptoms, for example; pain,
  • Support via trained volunteers.  For example; companionship and respite in the home. How to become a volunteer
  • Liaison with all health services involved in the care of the patient.
  • Advance Care Planning.
  • Massage Therapy.
  • Music Therapy.
  • Social work.
  • Family and children support.
  • Patient and Carer Support Groups
  • Liaison and referral to other community services, such as My Aged Care, NDIS, council services, such as home help and meals on wheels.
  • Bereavement Support.
  • Counselling.
  • Palliative Care Physician to support complex care in conjunction with your GP.

Our services are provided at no cost to our clients and their carers.

 24 Hour Care Service

Our expert staff visit our clients during business hours, and are also available after hours to provide support over the phone or visit.  During office hours (Monday – Friday 8:30am-5:00pm) our team provides assistance with any issues, including:

  • if you have a health-related enquiry or concern;
  • if you are concerned about a family member or friend who is a client of Banksia, or who you think would benefit from our support;
  • to reschedule an appointment or visit;
  • to speak with a Banksia staff member, and
  • for general information.

In the after hours period (after 5:00pm and before 8:30am Monday – Friday, weekends and public holidays) clients will speak with our partner service who provide expert advice and support and will contact the Banksia nurse on call as required.

Our on-call nurse is available to offer support and advice throughout this after-hours period and will visit the home under urgent circumstances, such as a sudden deterioration in your condition or an increase in your symptoms that you and your carer are unable to manage without support.

We will always prioritise anyone with issues overnight for a visit the following morning if required.

Palliative Care Physicians

We have our own team of expert Palliative Care Doctors, who specialise in palliative medicine, providing clients with relief from any symptoms and stresses they may be experiencing as a result of their illness. Our Doctors overall goal is to improve the quality of life for our clients, their family and/or carer.

Our doctors will visit you at your place of residence to review and symptoms that may need additional support to be effectively managed.  There may also be times that we suggest clients come into our clinic, located at our office, to speak with our doctors.

Our doctors will work alongside GPs and specialists, communicating with our client’s medical team throughout their journey with Banksia. They all work together to ensure there is continuity of care across the multidisciplinary fields that are managing client care.

Palliative Care Nurses

Our Palliative Care Nurses are specialist nurses with advanced skills and expertise to support your general wellbeing and symptom management, including pain, nausea, tiredness, changes in appetite or changes in mobility.  They will assist you, your family and carers with any other concerns or issues that may arise.

Our clinical nursing team is comprised of diversely-skilled nurses who are uniquely linked by their like-minded dedication to providing exceptional care to people living with palliative conditions. Their varied experience brings significant depth to the services that Banksia provides daily. Their work requires a very unique and specific skillset – the work is emotional and sensitive, requiring innovative, empathetic, flexible, caring health professionals with exceptional communication and listening skills.

Our nurses work with our wider clinical team creating a cohesive, invested and committed team who make an exceptional difference in the lives of others daily.

Support and Well Being Team

All clients and families of Banksia are allocated a Support and Wellbeing Team member who, with sensitivity to any cultural, personal and privacy requirements, assist with a variety of practical and emotional support issues. Our team work closely with our clients and their loved ones to support their emotional wellbeing, seek opportunities to decrease financial burdens and identify any other additional supports they may need.   This includes:

  • Provide counselling and emotional support for clients and their families.
  • Arranging home help and respite care.
  • Assistance with any financial burdens or stresses.
  • Navigating Centrelink.
  • Liaising with workplaces or schools.
  • Accessing My Aged Care, and if needed, transition to an Aged Care Facility.
  • Advance Care Directives.
  • Pastoral Care liaison.
  • Arranging family meetings for optimal communication and transparency.

“It was such a relief having someone there to co-ordinate all the services.” Palliative Care Client

 

Massage Therapy

Our Massage Therapists offer gentle, nurturing massage, using light strokes to encourage relaxation, stress relief and symptom management.

Our massage therapy sessions are flexible and tailored to each person’s individual needs and wishes.

Our massage therapy team attend client’s home and recognise everyone is different and our massage therapy session are always flexible and tailored to each person’s individual needs and wishes.

Testimonial: “After the massage today I felt so much more relaxed, the pain lifted for a while and I felt a lot of relief.” Palliative Care Client

 

Occupational Therapy

Our Occupational Therapists attend client’s homes and can provide help regarding any modifications to a client’s environment to maximise independence and safety. They can also discuss therapeutic activities, skills and equipment modifications to better support client’s and aid with symptom management. Our Occupational Therapy team will also recognise if any additional equipment would help the client, such as walking frames, over toilet chairs and Hi-Lo beds. They can organise for these to be hired.

Testimonial: “I have only thanks and appreciation for the suggestions eg the bedpost and adjustable chair, which have greatly improved my mobility and general ability to remain functional (and useful around the place).” (Client)

Music Therapy

For many people, music is an important part of life. Our Music Therapists develop a personalised relationship with our clients through the diverse use of music to increase the clients, families/carers health and wellbeing. Music is used to relieve pain, anxiety and stress, and to provide independence and quality of life.

It has many benefits, including:

  • Alleviating pain and promoting physical comfort.
  • Achieving feelings of relaxation and peace.
  • Management of anxiety and mood.
  • Positive engagement opportunities for families, resulting in life-long memories.
  • Improved quality of life.
  • Emotional wellbeing through difficult times.
  • Provision of legacies.
  • Coping mechanisms to assist with grief and loss.

 Advance Care Planning 

The Banksia team also supports Advance Care Planning (ACP) discussions to ensure that client’s wishes and preferences are known should the situation arise when they are unable to speak for themselves.

Advance Care Planning is particularly important for people who are older and are frail, or people who have a chronic illness, multiple diseases, an early cognitive impairment, or are approaching their end of life.

An Advance Care Plan may involve appointing a Medical Treatment Decision Maker (MTDM) and completing an Advance Care Directive (ACD). An ACD answers the question, ‘What would I want to happen if I couldn’t speak for myself?’  It can also provide reassurance that, should the situation arise, loved ones will know wishes and how to speak and act on behalf of their loved one.

Banksia Palliative Care Social Workers can:

  • Discuss Advance Care Planning with clients and their families/carers.
  • Provide information regarding what to consider when appointing a Medical Treatment Decision Maker.
  • Assist clients to work out what is important to them to be included in ACD.
  • Facilitate a session with clients to complete the ACD documentation.

For more information or for Advance Care Planning Forms, click here. 

Client and Carer Support Team

Caring for someone with a palliative illness can be a rich and rewarding experience.  Banksia supports carers throughout this journey.  Our team support carers to monitor and maintain their own health and wellbeing whilst assisting and empowering them to continue to care for their family or friend.

Our Client and Carer Support (CCSP) Team provide in-home education and training related to support managing care needs as a client’s condition changes. The team can provide education regarding how to move/reposition a client safely, how to wash a client, and how provide basic care. Their support and guidance can decrease anxiety and aid in increasing confidence, allowing carers and family to feel empowered to address client care needs in the home.

Respite can also be provided through our CCSP Team. This gives client’s the opportunity for some companionship as well as giving family and/or carers some time to recharge, or run some errands.

The family and/or carer are invited to remain in home during respite if they wish, do some gardening, take a bath, take a nap, read a book or they have the opportunity to leave the house for the duration of the respite.

 For further information, please click here. 

Empowering Carers Program

Our Empowering Carers Program combines Education, Social Support Groups and Self Care techniques to provide ongoing support and information to carers to help guide them through this role. They are aimed at providing carers with opportunities to share and learn new skills, socialise with others, gain support from health professionals including tools and physical activities to care for one’s self.

The Education component includes:

  • What to expect when caring for someone with a terminal illness
  • Massage techniques
  • Relaxation
  • Self care
  • How to deliver music therapy

Our Social Support Groups will include walking groups, book clubs and other social activities to allow carers to share and learn new skills, gain support from health professionals and other carers, share personal experiences and socialise and form new relationships.   Caring can be isolating, and socialising with other people in your position can provide support and companionship carers may not otherwise experience.

Click on News and Events for Upcoming Sessions.

Grief and Bereavement Support

At Banksia, we recognise that grief can occur before the death of a loved one, during any of the caring phases and through the difficult period of end of life care and beyond and our team provide support through it all.

Our services include:

  • Counselling
  • Bereavement Support Groups
  • Bereavement Information Sessions
  • Remembrance Services
  • Social Walking Groups

 Click here for a full list of our bereavement services. 

Voluntary Assisted Dying

Banksia defines Palliative Care as the provision of coordinated expert nursing, medical and allied health services, enabling people who are living with a life-limiting illness to live their best lives until the time of death. Services provided address the physical, psychological, social, emotional and spiritual needs of patients, families, carers and friends, and wherever possible, is delivered in the place of the patient’s choice.

Banksia believes that all Palliative Care services should be available to every person in the community and that adequate funding for the provision of best care should be a priority of state and federal governments.

Banksia believes that every person living with a life-limiting illness has the right to make choices in relation to their health treatments. Banksia staff and volunteers will not participate in the access or administration of Voluntary Assisted Dying medications or treatments, and will maintain all boundaries as permitted and defined by law, the scope of their professional practise, organisational policies and this statement. Banksia Palliative Care Service Inc. will support all of our clients and continue to provide Palliative Care services until the care is no longer requested or required.

Volunteer Support

Our volunteer team work alongside our team to provide holistic palliative care to our clients, their families and/or carers.

All our volunteers have unique skill sets that we pair alongside palliative care training to ensure they are well equipped to provide clients, families and/or carers support. We work hard to link like-minded people.

Our Volunteer Coordinator will visit your home to meet with you prior to arranging visits.  This allows us to determine your interests, hobbies or background, so we can link you with a volunteer who is similar.

Our volunteers attend client’s homes during the hours of 9am-4:00pm Monday-Friday for planned volunteer visits, and are able to stay for between 1 to 3 hours – this can be arranged on a regular basis – weekly, fortnightly or monthly.