Palliative Care

Biography service is ‘A friend in death’.

A friend in death - on Compass

A story we shared about the Sacred Heart Biography Service is very popular. Now we’re excited a TV program has been made about the service. Writers from the team help people who are dying to put their life into a story, something that can have a really powerful impact. Sometimes … Read more

Dignity and Care at Home.

Palliative care worker Kellie Cooper-Smith

We have the impression we’re ‘not allowed’ to care for someone who’s dying at home. But why? Hands on home palliative care worker, Kellie Cooper-Smith challenges this and talks through the practical issues in her article below. Kellie and I have also created a set of practical videos about caring … Read more

Why higher wages in aged care will help the good death.

CEO of Hammondcare Mike Baird, photo from Kelvin Bissett's LinkedIn page.

The Australian Federal Election was officially called today and last week HammondCare’s CEO Mike Baird issued a challenge to the Federal Government to match Labor’s pledge to improve aged care workforce wages. HammondCare provides aged care in Australia. Mike Baird is the former Liberal Premier of NSW. Mike’s involvement keeps … Read more

‘Legacy writing’ programs around Australia.

Find your 'Legacy Writer' in Australia - photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

by Olivia Loukas Legacy writing – also known as biography or life writing – is a way of documenting someone’s life story, in their own words, before they die. It can take various forms and is, by its nature, a deeply personal and spiritual process. Our article about the legacy … Read more

Australia comes fourth in ranking of end-of-life care.

Australia does well in new global study of end-of-life - aspects of care measured

Here’s some good news for Australians! Australia comes fourth in a ranking of end-of-life care, in a new assessment and comparison of 81 countries by The Lien Centre for Palliative Care at Duke-NUS Medical School. The report, Cross Country Comparison of Expert Assessments of the Quality of Death and Dying … Read more

What is the difference between grief and trauma?

What is the difference between grief and trauma? Photo by Bonnie Dalrymple

At a time when more lives are being turned upside down, and as we look towards how to respond, it’s important to understand: what is the difference between grief and trauma? In the last few weeks our screens have been bombarded with news of floods, war and the continuation of … Read more

Floods today and resources to help you.

Floods today and resources to help you. Photo 9News, Twitter.

Updated Thursday, March 3, 2022, 4pm. Sydney and surrounds on Thursday The weather system that brought floods to Brisbane and the NSW Northern Rivers reached Sydney and surrounds shortly afterwards and flooding started on Wednesday. The Cook , Nepean and Hawkesbury rivers are in flood at various points. Watch and … Read more

A video about mouth care for someone dying at home.

We’ve uploaded a set of videos on mouth care this week. They’re designed for everyday people caring for someone who is dying at home. At first glance the subject seems straight forward – and then suddenly it’s overwhelming. Am I doing the right thing? Could I hurt her? If do … Read more

Priceless work of our local carers.

Tania Teague with her mother Anita Teague - photo John Appleyard, Daily Telegraph

Sometimes there’s an overlap between Good Grief! and the other newspaper articles I write and today’s story published in The Daily Telegraph, Mosman Daily, North Shore Times and The Wentworth Courier is a good example. Behind every dying person there’s usually at least one dedicated carer – often a whole … Read more

Rethinking tunnelled drains – a good example of a small change that makes a big difference in palliative care.

Clinical nurse consultant Nikki (Turner) Campbell (Turner) and Associate Professor Richard Chye, of Sacred Heart Hospice, Sydney.

Some ideas in medical studies can look very obscure and technical to the layperson – yet in reality nothing could be further from the truth. A number will transform into very practical improvements for patients, such as those who need skilled care at the end of life. The following is … Read more

Mortals with Ross and Rachel Menzies

Rachel and Ross Menzies - photo by Sarah Wilson

Ross and Rachel might be friends, but Professor Ross Menzies and Dr Rachel Menzies are also father and daughter—both psychologists who have authored their third book together, the fascinating Mortals: How the Fear of Death Shaped Human Society. It examines all the human responses to death across history and examines … Read more

Funerals and Lockdowns

Barry left behind his beloved wife Eleanor and cherished children Carolyn, Chris and Sandra.

By Sandra Moon Two weeks ago, with state border closures in place and Local Government Area (LGA) lockdowns due to COVID-19, my mother Eleanor took my father Barry into the Emergency Department not knowing he would never come home again. While it had been a long health battle for Dad, … Read more

It’s legal to withhold life-sustaining medical treatment.

It’s legal. You’re allowed to say ‘no’ to medical treatment. And if you’re the person responsible, you’re allowed to say no on behalf of the person you’re responsible for. But there’s still confusion about this – both in the broader community, in hospitals and nursing home. So let’s unpack it. … Read more

Crucial end of life Conversations

The many allied health professionals oncology patients have to navigate can be overwhelming. Photo - National Cancer Institute.

by Sandra Moon. ‘I feel his organs are shutting down,’ my mother said on the phone. But how? Two days before Mum had rung me to ask for help getting Dad to the emergency ward at our local hospital. I burst into tears worried that he may enter hospital and … Read more