• Palliative Care

    Focusing in quality of life.

    Resthaven provides palliative care and support for residents and clients with a chronic illness or condition.

    Palliative care is not just about end of life. When treatment focus is changed from ‘cure’ to ‘care’ it can greatly improve the quality of life of residents, clients, and their families.

    Our philosophy aims to maintain or improve quality of life through the prevention and relief of suffering. This can include:

    • Controlling physical symptoms, such as pain
    • Support with emotional, social or spiritual needs
    • Support for carers and family
    • Respect and support of individual choices.

    Palliative and end of life care is everyone’s business, not just the domain of nurses and doctors. Dying is more than just a physical process requiring clinical/medical care. It involves social, cultural, spiritual and other domains of a person’s life.

    Anastasia palliative care quote

    Resthaven staff and volunteers have much to contribute to this, whether it be direct clinical care, supporting family members, or coordinating services and resources. Resthaven provides training to ensure they are competent and confident in what is sometimes challenging but also rewarding work.

    Resthaven is one of only a handful of aged care providers in Australia that employs a palliative care nurse practitioner to provide specialist support when there are complex clinical and psychosocial needs.

    Resthaven was asked ‘Ten Questions about Palliative Care’ by Palliative Care Australia

    Click here to read our answers.

    We can provide you with a number of Palliative Care resources to help you during this difficult time.

    Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner Peter Jenkin consultsResthaven employs a Nurse Practitioner Palliative Care to support residents and their family/significant others in:

    The Nurse Practitioner Palliative Care works with nursing and care staff to direct delivery of high quality palliative care and end of life care for residents. Staff are provided with education and training to meet delivery of this care.

    In residential services, staff such as the coordinating chaplain, social worker, and volunteers, work with nursing and care staff and medical practitioners to foster a team approach to meet emotional, social, and spiritual needs and preferences of residents respecting individual choices.

    Bereavement support for family and significant others is provided as needed.

    Learn about Advanced Care Planning

    Resthaven employs a Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner to provide specialist clinical support and information to Resthaven residents, clients and their families.

    A Nurse Practitioner (NP) is a Registered Nurse who has completed both advanced university study at a Masters Degree level and extensive clinical training, and is endorsed by the Australian Health Practitioners Regulatory Authority (AHPRA) to practice autonomously.

    Resthaven Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner, Peter Jenkin, is a recognised expert in his field with nearly two decades of experience in palliative care.

    Read his story here 

    Having a Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner on staff enables access to timely, specialist clinical care that works in collaboration with GPs to improve pain relief and comfort for the resident during this time.

    We have developed and implemented an in-house model of palliative and end of life care, which has reduced the number of inappropriate transfers to hospital in the last weeks of a resident’s life.

    ‘My role allows me to spend the time needed to facilitate and take part in those ‘difficult conversations’.

    Being able to improve the lives of older people as they approach the end of their lives is very satisfying.

    I enjoy the primacy of my clinical role, with the ability to also teach, conduct research and influence local and national policy.’
    – Peter Jenkin, Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner

    Palliative Care award Peter JenkinPeter presented with an award for  ‘Excellence in Palliative Care in an Aged Care Setting’ at the Palliative Care Australia (PCA) National Awards 2017.

    Read the story here

    Peter has also received the following awards:

    • Employee Award | 2017 Aged and Community Services (ACS) SA and NT Awards for Excellence
    • Innovation Award | 2013 Palliative Care Awards, Palliative Care Council South Australia


    Peter provides expertise in:

    • Assessment and management of complex physical symptoms and psychosocial support needs, including at the end of life
    • Counselling and family support
    • Facilitation of advance care planning
    • Education and support for Resthaven staff and students.

    Click here to read Peter’s blog post ‘Working as a Specialist Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner in RAC’ on CareSearch

    Click here to read Peter’s blog post  ‘Nurse Practitioners (NPs) can help integrate the new Aged Care Quality Standards’ on CareSearch


    A palliative care plan may include:

    • Various care options, nursing support and pain management that may be available
    • Management strategies for pain and other symptoms.
    • Advice and emotional, spiritual and culturally appropriate support; and how this might be provided.


    • Support for family members throughout the decision-making process; explanations for all those involved and what they might expect.
    • An outline of the support staff can offer through the palliative phase and the bereavement process.
    • Should extra nursing support be required, additional hours of assistance may be purchased.

    listening over lunchAt Resthaven, we provide pastoral care in all aspects of living; engaging the whole person physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

    Coordinating Chaplains are aware of the personal impact of changing circumstances, tragedy, and end of life issues, and are skilled at sensitively relating to people in times of need.

    Find out more about Pastoral Care

    Caring for someone with dignity and comfort at the end of their life is very important. It is an honour to care for someone in their last days.

    Resthaven’s clinical services team supports the spiritual, emotional and cultural wellbeing of the person who is nearing their end of life, and that of their loved ones. Resthaven staff ensure that a person is kept as physically comfortable as possible and reinforce the important, routine comfort measures such as pain relief, ensuring comfortable positioning, skin care, continence care, and mouth and eye care.

    Resthaven staff will use comfort items such as lubricating eye drops to promote and maintain comfort, or a warm wet face washer to soothe the eyes.

    It’s the little comfort things that make all the difference.

    Click here to read Resthaven’s Palliative Care Clinical Nurse, Karen Gregory’s blog post ‘Tackling eye and mouth care at end of life’, on CareSearch.

    Resthaven Resources

    Click here to view our Palliative Care publications or Click here to view our other Resthaven publications

    External Resources

    My Aged Care: End of Life Care

    Information for people living in the community or residential aged care homes. www.myagedcare.gov.au/end-life-care

    Caring for someone at the end of their life at home www.myagedcare.gov.au/caring-someone/caring-someone-end-their-life

    CareSearch, the palliative care knowledge network

    CareSearch is an online resource designed to help those needing relevant and trustworthy information and resources about palliative care. The website has been funded by the Australian Government as part of the National Palliative Care Program. www.caresearch.com.au

    Click here to watch CareSearch videos. Information and support is provided in various languages.


    End of Life Directions for Aged Care (ELDAC) is a free resource funded by the Australian Government Department of Health to support quality care for older Australians at the end of life. www.eldac.com.au

    Evidence-based toolkits bring together the latest tools, information and resources for workers across different areas such as: Recognising the End of Life, Assess Palliative Care Needs, Manage Dying, After Death Care and Bereavement, Organisational Support and End of Life Law.

    These toolkits are free and available on the ELDAC website, with a supporting Helpline (1800 870 155) during office hours.

    This webinar by Professor David Currow, Dr Karen Detering and Peter Jenkin, focuses on individual choice and integration of people’s wishes, maintaining their comfort and working within a multidisciplinary team.

    For the bereaved | SA Health

    This website lists a selection of high-quality online bereavement resources, alongside links to online and face-to-face services available to all South Australians.


    PalliAGED is a free online resource for health and aged care practitioners and consumers, carers and their families on end of life and palliative care issues. www.palliaged.com.au
    The Commonwealth Government has funded the development and maintenance of this site to ensure everyone has access to high quality, reliable evidence-based information, guidelines, tools and resources.

    Palliative Care Australia

    Australia’s national peak body for palliative care. palliativecare.org.au

    Booklet: Understanding Grief

    The Palliative Care Council of South Australia

    202 Greenhill Rd,
    Eastwood, SA, 5063
    Telephone: (08) 8291 4137

    The Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement

    Free grief counselling to aged care recipients, their families, loved ones and aged care staff: Phone 1800 22 22 00 or download “My Grief” app available at www.aged.grief.org.au or via the Google Play and Apple Stores.