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Welcome to your PHH Team

PHH provides all of our clients and their families with individualised support that is delivered according to their needs.

Our team aims to develop meaningful connections and resources to help improve your quality of life and provide comfort, strength and hope.

We recognise that often there are many demands on your time, including medical appointments, treatments in hospitals, family needs and life in general. Our aim is to help you maintain your chosen commitments with as much or as little support you feel you need.

Our team of palliative care specialists are experienced in providing support, answering questions and offering holistic care in your home.

Your Palliative Care Team include:

  • Specialist Palliative Care Nurses
  • Community Nursing
  • Specialist Palliative Care Physicians
  • Counsellor-Caseworkers
  • Art Therapist
  • Music Therapist
  • Trained Palliative Client Care Volunteers
  • Client Resource Advocate
  • Occupational Therapy

Why do I need it?

Palliative care helps you to live well with a serious illness that is likely to shorten your life. It aims to make you comfortable, improve your quality of life, and support family and friends caring for you. It also provides choices and helps you to make important decisions about your care.

Palliative care offers expert care to relieve a person's pain and suffering, and to respond to their social, emotional, cultural, and spiritual needs. Support is also available to family and friends providing care.


The PHH Intake Team aims to make the referral process as clear and as simple as possible for you and your family. Referrals to PHH can be received from a variety of people including your GP, Specialists, your hospital or even a family member.

At the time of receiving your referral we will liaise with the person who has alerted us to your needs (referral source) and ensure that we have adequate information to understand your current care needs.

Once we have this information our specialist palliative care nurse, in the intake team, will phone you or a family member who is representing you. The intake nurse will be introducing our service and discussing the current difficulties you may be experiencing. At this point we will organise a time for one of our specialist nurses to visit to complete the initial assessment, opening up access to the full palliative care team and services.

During this phone call the intake nurse will need to ask some questions as part of a compulsory risk assessment for visiting people in their homes. Don’t be alarmed, these questions just helps us to keep our staff safe as well as ensuring we have adequate information to make safe decisions regarding your care.

"You matter to the last moment of your life, and we will do all that we can not only to help you die peacefully, but to live until you die"

Dame Cecily Saunders

Founder of the hospice movement

Planning for the future

Planning for your future care can often bring a sense of comfort, control, relief and security.

Your team at PHH can assist you in planning for your future care including Advance Care Plan. Trained counselling and nursing teams can assist by providing information and supporting discussions about your care wishes.

It can be important to discuss your care decisions and preferences for future care with your medical team, family members and those close to you. These discussions help clarify your values, hopes, beliefs and preferences.

An Advance Care Plan is a term for planning, discussion and, at times formally documenting, your preferences for medical care in advance. These may be changed at any time if you wish.

Some of these decisions may include considering:

  • Choosing someone you trust to carry out your wishes to be your Medical Power of Attorney, in the event you are unable to express your wishes yourself
  • Where you would like to receive ongoing palliative care, including your home, public and/or private hospitals and palliative care units
  • Writing or updating your Will
  • Special messages, stories or music for your memorial or funeral that are important to you.

You have the option of making an Advance Care Directive which is a written document that sets out your directions to be considered before medical treatment decisions are made on your behalf. For example: Not for Resuscitation Order, and/or treatments you would find acceptable/not acceptable. You may find it helpful to discuss this with your GP and/or specialists.

The following legal documents can be downloaded to assist you to plan and formally document your wishes for your future medical treatment and care.


Our Services & Support

Palliative care supports people with a life limiting illness and their families to live, die and grieve well. PHH provides a range of specialist palliative support to people who choose to receive care in their home.

Nursing & Medical

The PHH nursing team is made up of specialist palliative care nurses who have extensive experience and knowledge of palliative care issues, particularly that of symptom management. The specialist nurses work very closely with RDNS to provide you with effective and timely symptom management and nursing care in your home.

In conjunction with RDNS, a 24 hour on call nursing service is available, ensuring you always have someone to guide and support you during this time.

As a member of your broader care team, the PHH nurses prioritise communicating clearly with you, your family, your GP and specialists, and other service providers to ensure that our care is co-ordinated and we understand the needs and expectations you have.

When you are referred to PHH one of nursing team members will attend your home for an initial assessment. At this time they will explain more about our service and answer any questions you may have.

Family support

We recognise that when illness affects the physical body this impacts your priorities, lifestyles, finances, moods, relationships, hopes and dreams, and your view or understanding of life. This may lead to times of uncertainty and changes in daily routines, as well as life choices.

This is where a counsellor-caseworker may provide useful insight.

All clients and their families are introduced to a counsellor-caseworker who is available to them while receiving PHH support. They provide support to you, your family and friends - anyone who is important in your life.

Your counsellor-caseworker works together with your nurses to ensure that we provide holistic care in your home. They offer practical supports including information and options, coordinating referrals and connections to local community agencies (hopefully minimising the demands on your time and energy).

The palliative care counsellor-caseworker may also provide emotional support directly through counselling conversations, or through referral to our team members that include:

  • Spiritual Support Counsellor
  • Art Therapist
  • Music Therapist

This support can be provided in your home or in our confidential counselling space at PHH offices. They are applicable to all age groups (including children) and interpreter services are available when English is not your first language (or when your family members may benefit from an interpreter).

Your Counsellor-Caseworker may also help to facilitate family meetings to help share and strengthen the family's coping in difficult times.

Practical Support

The Client Resources Advocate organises referrals for practical services and assists with funding and advocacy where needed.

Your Team works with the Client Resource Advocate to link you into the following :

Financial Concerns

  • Support with applications for Centrelink benefits
  • Early superannuation payments
  • Welfare financial assistance
  • Access to expert financial advice

Respite options

  • Aged Care Assessments to help with government subsidised respite
  • In-home respite options including nursing and personal carers
  • Nursing home respite options on the Peninsula

PHH Client Care Volunteer Assistance Program

  • Our trained Client Care Volunteers have been fundamental to the services provided by PHH since the organisation began. They are an integral part of the specialist palliative care team as we all work together to support you.

"In-Home" Services

  • Council services including regular cleaning services, personal carers and shopping assistance
  • Community Support Packages
  • Nanny rebates through Centrelink
  • Taxi Directorate applications
  • Personal Alarms
  • Delivery of prepared meals

Planning ahead

  • Nominating Power of Attorneys
  • Advanced Care Planning
  • Writing a Will
  • Deciding on and designing what type of funeral you'd like (traditional, cremation, eco-friendly where you're buried or cremated in a cardboard coffin produced from recycled paper and non-toxic chemicals, buried at sea, interred vertically to save space, carbon neutral where you calculate your life's carbon footprint and then leave money in your will to pay for the equivalent number of trees...these are just a few examples).

Emotional Support

Sometimes it may help just to talk.....

We have trained professionals who can visit you at home to explore and share:

  • your response to your illness
  • how to have difficult conversations with family members at times of stress, including children and adolescents
  • supporting yourself and others
  • how to cope?
  • when you just need to talk....
  • fears and anxieties about the future
  • the changes you have experienced due to illness
  • special plans you would like to make
  • feelings and experiences around death and dying
  • Legacy making - special messages for your family and friends

PHH provides palliative care counselling, spiritual counselling, Art Therapy, Music Therapy, Sand Tray Therapy for you and your family. These services can be provided in your home or in our counselling space at PHH offices.

Spiritual Support

A spiritual care worker is available to visit you and your family at home, to support and encourage your spiritual nourishment.

Spiritual care is focused on listening and allowing each person to explore and express their hopes and concerns, while drawing on their own spiritual and emotional resources.

Spiritual support is open to all faith traditions, beliefs and spiritual searching.

Things you may wish to explore with a spiritual care worker:

  • questions or curiosity about faith and belief
  • mindfulness
  • prayer, meditation, stillness, connection to your own deep heart
  • rituals, sacraments
  • questions about life, death, and after death
  • creating healing spaces and practices
  • inspirational literature, scripture, sacred music/song
  • dreams, visions and peak spiritual experiences
  • loss and grief

Family Meetings

Family Meetings can often help to clarify practical concerns, individual understandings of symptoms and illness, and help to strengthen family relationships and cohesiveness.

Your Counsellor-Caseworker can facilitate the following meetings at your request:

  • Coordinate and facilitate meetings with all community services involved in your care to prevent gaps or confusion in your care
  • Meetings with family members when decisions need to be made that impact your care
  • Facilitated family meetings where members are given the opportunity to share their personal experiences, concerns and emotions and to listen to others in the family. The aim is to increase understanding and support between family members (children may also be included)
  • Story telling - facilitation of a meeting to help a family member share an important story, memory, event, or connection with other family members

Art Therapy

Art Therapy provides a neutral starting point to explore life changes using visual art forms. It can be used as an alternative to talking for when words fail, to support your experience and as a concrete way to form, develop and access strengths.

Our Art Therapist is available to visit you and your family at home for your expressive therapy needs and art interests. Art therapy can assist with:
• physical symptoms such as pain, sleeplessness, loss of appetite and physical losses;
• life issues including change, burden, loss, anxiety, stress, conflict, grief
• accessing your own style of ‘art’, enhancing life through developing creatively.
• helping you discover drawing, painting, sculpture, collage, printmaking, photography, digital art, online art book making, journaling
• starting or finishing a project such as making a legacy gift for someone or to simply enjoy the process of learning about and making art for yourself.

Visits can be arranged for individuals, couples or families and is available throughout the year for PHH clients.

For further information visit: www.anzata.org

Music Therapy

Music is beautiful and alive, and adds to your quality of life in a creative way. Music Therapy can be stimulating or relaxing for the mind, body and spirit. Using music can:

• Improve well being
• Address sleep disturbances and increase your quality of sleep
• Provide enjoyment and bring a sense of vitality
• Tap into your imagination and memories
• Help you to strengthen your identity
• Soothe you in just the right ways

A Registered Music Therapist is available to visit you and your family at home offering a range of things depending on how you feel on that day:
• Singing and playing music together
• Sharing music with family and friends
• Composing songs together
• Enjoying music without having to do anything else
• Using music to explore feelings and emotions that are not easily expressed in words
• Using guided music relaxation - where you are actually doing something by doing nothing
• Choosing appropriate music for different situations
• Setting up of musical equipment such as CD players, Bluetooth, and phone applications (Apps)

Music Therapy is for all ages and abilities - you DO NOT need a background in music to enjoy music therapy. Sometimes the best way to know if it may be helpful is to talk with the Registered Music Therapist who can explain things more.

For further information visit: www.austmta.org.au


Sand Tray Therapy

Sand tray therapy has been used since the 1950’s.

It is suitable for children, adolescents, adults, families and couples.

You may use the sand tray and figures to create a "picture", a window into your ‘world’ – it may help to explore or clarify a problem, or it may help to express emotions. Sand tray therapy can also be used together with traditional counselling.

"I don’t know how it works, but I could just see my life differently when I placed all those things in the tray and then moved them around till it ‘felt right""

"It helped me understand my family in a different way".


Client Care Volunteers

PHH Client Care Volunteers support clients and carers with visits to the home providing assistance with shopping, transport to local appointments or PHH activities, taking clients for a drive or an outing, having a chat and keeping them company while their carer is out – generally helping client and carer to live their lives as fully as possible.

Volunteers may support a client who has no carer in the home, by maintaining regular contact for companionship, or providing the practical support listed above. Volunteers can reduce the isolation that some people may feel as their illness progresses. The simple step of inviting a Volunteer into your life could make all the difference.

Some clients and their families choose to meet a Volunteer early in their relationship with PHH. For others, it may come later, perhaps when things are a little more difficult.

Volunteers are available for up to four hours per week knowing that the ordinary things they do (such as having a chat, a cuppa, listening, giving their time) can make a difference.

Our Volunteers can be with people facing a life-threatening illness and the prospect of dying, without having a magic word or wand to make it better. They are interested in you and your family and can help you to talk about or do the things that are important to you now.

Volunteers support PHH group programs and provide transport to them . They also provide support to staff and clients in Peninsula Health’s Palliative Care Unit.


Memory Books

A Memory Book can capture times in your life which have special significance for you.

PHH Client Care Volunteers can assist with the completion of an online book of 20 pages which will include the photos and words of your choosing.

Producing a Memory Book is an opportunity to remember the times in your life which have had a lasting impact on you. These memories might be the significant milestones of life, or the smaller but just as important times that have shaped your life.

What sort of memories might you capture in your Memory Book?

  • A special memory from your childhood
  • Memories you have of school or work
  • Meeting of your life partner
  • Birth of your children/grandchildren
  • Struggles and triumphs in your life
  • What 'philosophy of life' would you say has sustained you during hard times?
  • Some of your favourite things
  • Places you have seen

These are only suggestions to get you started; you will probably have many memories that are very special to you which you may want to capture in print.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy is an integral part of the holistic service provided to our clients, their families/carers.  Our Occupational Therapist supports clients to carry out activities that are most important to them.  This may include:

  • Assessment of each person's unique and changing needs
  • Practical support to help clients maintain independence and well-being
  • Advice regarding set up of home, including appropriate equipment to make life more comfortable and safe
  • Providing clients and their carers/families with education to enable them to better manage symptoms such as shortness of breath, limited energy, mobility challenges and discomfort
  • Referrals to other community services as required