Karen Hitchcock (July) encapsulated her close relationship with her grandmother in beautiful words, and we were given a very clear picture of who this woman was and what was most important to her. I was dismayed to read that in the last months of her life, she was not referred to the local community palliative-care service for support at home. Hitchcock’s article would have people believe that a palliative-care service is only there to assist with a person’s last days of life, and within the structure of in-patient hospice care.
Community palliative-care services aim to support people, and their carers, in determining these very individual wishes. It is this respect for a person’s autonomy, along with impeccable symptom management, that allows for that person to experience a more meaningful end to their life, in the place of their choosing.