Palliative care resources

It is common to have lots of questions about palliative care. This page provides information on different aspects of palliative care, that may be useful to the patient, their carer and their families.

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Where can I be cared for?

You can receive palliative care wherever you choose to be – at home, in hospital or in residential care. Hospice care is available where this support is seen as needed by you and your healthcare team.

Many health professionals and support agencies may be involved in your care including your GP, district nurses and any other medical specialists who are part of your regular care such as an oncologist or kidney specialist. If you’ve been referred to a specialist palliative care team in the hospital or by referral to a hospice, your GP will continue to be involved in your care. The palliative care team will help co-ordinate your care in partnership with your wider healthcare team, family, hospital and community organisations.

Hospices around New Zealand provide support to people and their families who are living with a terminal illness. Most people are referred to their local hospice by their GP or main healthcare provider. Anyone is welcome to contact their local hospice to find out more about their services. Hospice care is free for anyone in New Zealand who’s eligible for free healthcare.

What support is available for caregivers?

Hospice NZ has published a booklet called A Guide for Carers(external link). This is an excellent resource for friends and family which covers practical and emotional issues around caring for someone with a terminal illness.

Skylight(external link) is a not-for-profit NZ organisation who specifically support children and young people affected by loss and grief.

The Cancer Society(external link) provides services and support for terminally ill patients and families.

Related topics on Healthify

Hospice NZ(external link)

More information


About palliative care(external link) Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora

Te Hokinga ā Wairua End of Life Service(external link) Te Hokinga ā Wairua End of Life Service, NZ A conversation worth havingHelp when you need it most
A guide for carers Hospice NZ Full booklet(external link), Chapter 1 – Being a caregiver(external link), Chapter 2 – Caring for a loved one(external link), Chapter 3 – Circles of support(external link), Chapter 4 – Home nursing tips(external link), Chapter 5 – Practical matters(external link)
5 ways resource series(external link) Hospice NZ Ways to talk to a child about death(external link), Tips for writing condolences(external link), Conversation starters with your family(external link), Ways to help someone who is grieving(external link), Myths about palliative care(external link), How to talk about death(external link), Things you might not know about death(external link)
What is palliative care? Palliative Outcomes Initiative, NZ Simplified Chinese and English [PDF, 2 MB], Korean & English [PDF, 2.2 MB], Samoan & English [PDF, 2 MB], Tongan & English [PDF, 1.9 MB]
Living with life limiting illness Palliative Outcome Initiative, NZ, 2020 English & Arabic(external link), English & Simplified Chinese(external link), English & Hindi(external link), English & Korean(external link), English & Samoan(external link), English & Tongan(external link)
Hospice care Palliative Outcome Initiative, NZ, 2020 Arabic & English(external link), Simplified Chinese & English(external link), Cook Island Māori & English(external link), Hindi & English(external link), Korean & English(external link), te reo Māori & English(external link), Samoan & English(external link), Tongan & English(external link)
Personal cares The following resources have been developed to help to answer questions that carers may have around oral care, and appetite and eating Fluids and the use of artificial hydration(external link) St Christopher’s Hospice, London, Why won’t they eat?(external link) St Christopher’s Hospice, London, 2010
Note: This resource is from overseas so some details may be different in NZ, eg, phone 111 for emergencies or, if it’s not an emergency, freephone Healthline 0800 611

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