Palliative Care Week 2024

Palliative Care Week – Matters of Life and Death

“We are All Going to Die Someday… but how do you want to live until then?”


This is the question posed by Palliative Care Australia during National Palliative Care Week, 19 to 25 May, with its campaign ‘Matters of Life and Death’.

The campaign aimed to deepen people’s understanding of palliative care and encourage action around end-of-life planning.

“As our population ages and levels of chronic disease increase, so does the demand for palliative care,” says Camilla Rowland, Chief Executive Officer, Palliative Care Australia (PCA).

“Our research points to a 50% surge in demand over this decade, doubling by 2050. This alarming data underscores the urgent need for us to proactively address the growing needs of Australians,” she said.

Palliative Care Australia was aiming to highlight the holistic nature of the palliative care that all Australians should be able to access. Their National Palliative Care Community Survey revealed that 90% of Australians believe end-of-life planning is important, but only 40% of people have done anything about it.

Reflecting on this, Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner, Peter Jenkin said, “People are death denying, we don’t want to talk about it because we are worried it will tempt fate, and I think there is a sense of – it’s going to happen to someone else, not me.”

National Palliative Care Week offers an opportunity to confront those fears and empower people to have greater control when it comes to ‘matters of life and death’.

A new ‘Orange Heart’ is being used to represent palliative care and to symbolise care and friendship: “It is ‘heart-warming and encouraging’ and used as a symbol of ‘always being there for me’ – values that connect with palliative care,” Ms Rowland says.

Our Palliative Care Champions


At Vasey RSL Care we have a Palliative Care Champion at each of our aged care homes who can provide expert help and guidance to residents, their families and staff.

“We understand that death and dying is a difficult topic for most people,” says General Manager Residential Services, Corinne Lyon.

“The value of National Palliative Care Week is in raising the topic and encouraging us all to talk about it more openly.

“Our residential aged care staff play a critical role in delivering exceptional care and optimising quality of life: I encourage you to have a chat with our staff about this important topic – the more we talk about it, the easier it becomes.”

What is Palliative Care?


Palliative Care is:

High quality health care and support for people with life-limiting illness and their families.

Palliative Care is:

Holistic care that helps people to live as well as they can by managing pain and symptoms, helping maintain quality of life as illness progresses.

Palliative Care is:

A family-centred model of care where family, loved ones and carers can also receive practical and emotional support.

Palliative Care is:

About maintaining quality of life and is not about hastening death or prolonging life. The focus is on living as well as possible for as long as possible.