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What is palliative care?

Palliative care is a comprehensive approach to care that looks after your loved one’s physical needs while also supporting their emotional wellbeing as they face a life limiting illness.

Our specialised palliative care program is founded on extensive experience in end of life care, offering a holistic approach to the residential aged care experience. Treating residents with dignity and respect, in life and in death, is a given at IRT. 

Nurse supporting elderly woman in aged care home”
Supportive hands comforting an elderly person

What are the aims of palliative care?

The aim of palliative care is to enhance the quality of life of your loved one and help them maintain their independence. Our aims include:

  • Specially-trained staff providing clinical care, including wound and pain management, personal care, comfort care and sensory experiences.
  • Family and friends are invited to participate and spend quality time with their loved one, with support from our staff.
  • When a resident passes away, we offer a range of signature services to honour their memory. Options include memorial items, a guard of honour and meaningful room signage.

Our personalised palliative care approach

Our palliative care experience promotes comfort, care and a holistic understanding of wellbeing. We support our residents and their families through this time, and offer a range of signature ‘neigbourhoods’ and ‘specialist’ programs where residents are honoured in life, and in passing.

Trained staff integrate sensory stimulation into care delivery using therapeutic touch, aromatherapy, music and sensory experiences. Activities are tailored for each resident and generally include special momentos from their life. Family and friends are encouraged to participate, as Namaste often enables a sense of connection at a time when communication with loved ones is limited.

Founded on the power of loving touch, some of the benefits of our Namaste program include; a relaxed and fulfilling environment, reduced need for medication, decreased pain, fewer incidents of aggression, increased social interaction, a holistic approach that includes physical and emotional health and a positive impact on quality of life. Core services include:

Sensory stimulation
IRT’s Namaste care experience incorporates stimulation of the five senses (touch, hearing, sight, smell, taste). Music, colour, therapeutic touch and massage, aromatherapy oils and food treats are all part of the multi-sensory environment created in Namaste.

Meaningful activity
Activities are tailored for each resident to create opportunities for loving touch and human connection. Hands and face may be gently washed with a warm flannel, patted dry with a soft towel and moisturising cream applied. Staff use opportunities like this to make eye contact with residents and speak to them with warmth and kindness.

Life story and family participation
Family and friends are invited to join in the Namaste care experience and share stories from their loved one’s past. We often create a personalised box of special mementos to incorporate into the care experience. Residents are encouraged to hold these items and may be immersed in familiar sounds and smells to promote comfort and wellbeing.

Group sessions
Namaste session are delivered by specially-trained staff in small groups or one-on-one in a calm space away from distractions and daily activities. Small groups are run in dedicated Namaste rooms featuring soft lighting and engaging design elements supported by music, aromatherapy and
temperature control.

Pain management, warmth and hydration
Specially-trained staff ensure that residents are comfortable and well hydrated throughout the session. Blankets and socks keep residents warm and cosy in between activities, like foot massages. This helps residents to relax into the sensory-care experience.

This neighbourhood focuses on compassionate care for residents’ physical needs, while also nurturing their spirit. Residents are treated with dignity and respect as they approach end of life with a range of signature recognition programs.

Options include:

  • Portable refreshment units for families visiting a loved one at end of life
  • Purple flower room signage to signify the imminent passing of a loved one, and butterfly room signage symbolising their passing
  • A Guard of Honour to farewell residents as they leave the aged care centre (if the family wishes)
  • A memorial book to celebrate the memory of the resident.

The serenity neighbourhood suits residents with limited to no mobility and a life limiting illness or advancing dementia.

How much does palliative care cost?

Our palliative care program is part of IRT’s Journey of Care model. It’s a unique approach to delivering residential aged care that won’t affect the cost of a resident’s accommodation and care.

Nurse helping woman in palliative care

Our locations

We currently offer palliative care across a number of our aged care centres, and are continuing to roll the program out throughout NSW, Qld and the ACT.

Our specialised program is suited to residents with end-stage dementia or who are nearing their end of life. 

Discover the IRT difference


We work in partnership with leading Australian researchers and health experts to enrich residents’ quality of life, when they need it most.


We understand everyone has different needs, which is why we personalise the palliative care experience for every resident.


All IRT employees are suitably qualified, trained and vetted for their roles. We also invest in regular staff education and training through our industry-leading IRT Academy and national leaders in palliative care.

Find out if your loved one is suited to our Journey of Care

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