Palliative Care

What happens when nurses are afraid at their patients’ end of life?

What happens when nurses are afraid at their patients end of life?

When Dr Katrin Gerber shared her thoughts about the important topic of pain management at the end of life, it brought back many memories. My mother died in a nursing home in late 2011, and the haunting question lingered – did Mum get the pain relief she needed as she … Read more

Is the place I want to be cared for the place where I want to die?

Dr Katrin Gerber

The work of Dr Katrin Gerber has caught our eye. This is because whenever the question comes up about where someone wants to die, it can be hard to gauge accurately, and Katrin has studied it intensely. As a kindly volunteer, sitting with palliative care patients, I remember being struck … Read more

Pharmacists and palliative care.

Pharmacists and palliative care

Pharmacists are key players in the delivery of effective palliative care because they deliver and manage the drugs to help ease symptoms, especially pain. ‘In many ways, they are unseen essential workers, caring for those in need during a critical time.’ said South Australian pharmacist Paul Tait MPS, who is … Read more

There is now a new definition of palliative care

Redefining Palliative Care—A New Consensus-Based Definition

There is now a new definition of palliative care – thanks Caroline Litster for pointing this one out. (Caroline is a researcher at Flinders University and a palliative and supportive services provider with ELDAC.) Caroline shared this item from The Journal of Pain and Symptom Management (JPSM), reported in its … Read more

But it doesn’t look too serious.

Staging of pressure sores, image by MyHealth.Alberta.ca

With all our attention recently focused on the big threat of Covid-19, the little things that don’t appear to be a problem could sneak up on us. A reader raised her concerns about the way her mother died and the very poor management of her mother’s pressure sores, which caused … Read more

Professor Joe and ‘the inappropriate question’.

Prof Joe deals with the inappropriate question.

We love this one. Prof Joe is so clear and gentle…and he knows how to tell a good story. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30eXWq80E00&feature=youtu.be For more from Prof Joe, including a range of brilliant resources, go to: https://www.profjoe.com.au/ For more good communication on advance planning, go to:

Work and end-of-life care – online for post-Covid times

Work has gone online – even, surprisingly, in the healthcare space. We’ve discovered more about what’s effective and what isn’t as lawyers, school teachers and sales people have developed new online practices. However, at times this can feel like two steps forward, one step back. Some Sydney lawyers report that … Read more

More palliative care at home and in aged care? Yes please!

Investing to save

A new report is calling for the appointment of a Palliative Care Commissioner and $240 million a year to support home based palliative care, reports Judy Skatssoon of Community Care Review. “The report  says palliative care is treated like an “optional extra” but should be a core health service in the aged … Read more

Biographies – a legacy and also a therapy for the dying.

Biography program creates a legacy for the dying

Sometimes, when someone is dying they just don’t want to focus on their disease any more. And during Covid-19, like many of the rest of us, the dying need a break from that too. “We’ve found one of the things our clients really appreciate is the chance to be someone … Read more

Compassion at the end of life in Covid-19 times.

Palliative care specialist MICHAEL BARBATO writes and teaches about how to bring love and kindness to the dying. Here are his thoughts on the challenges to this goal with Covid-19. He also has a terrific recommendation to read, Rachel Coghlan’s piece on “small but potent acts of compassion.” See the … Read more

Palliative care and Covid-19

Palliative care is adapting to meet the needs of those with Covid-19 – and people dying of other causes. Palliative Care Australia has formed the Australian COVID-19 Palliative Care Working Group (ACPCWG) in partnership with palliative care related specialist groups. These are the Australian and New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine (ANZSPM), … Read more

Burial in a shroud – no coffin.

An example of a shroud and trundle on the Gathered Here website

I’ve attached a great article from the Canadian newspaper, Edmonton Journal, which shows the growing acceptance of shrouds with no coffin burials, even among traditionalists. It says the Anglican church in Alberta is recognising the environmental concerns of its congregation, something that is catching on everywhere. My cover photo, which … Read more

Is death painful or more like uncomfortable?

ELDAC is providing opportunities for aged care facilities to improve their palliative care - pic courtesy ELDAC

The subject of painful death came up during a recent discussion about the palliative care needs of the elderly. “It’s probably more accurate to describe the discomforts of death, rather than pain at death, since for most people it is uncomfortable rather than painful,” a palliative care nurse explained. That’s … Read more

Gather My Crew – can help you share the love and support

Gather My Crew can help you organise your support while caring for someone who is dying

“Hello, I’m just calling on behalf of an organisation called ‘Gather My Crew’,” Susan said when she rang in to Jon Faine’s ABC Melbourne Known Unknowns program to discuss ‘the good death’. We were taking calls from people about how we can help each other improve today’s experience of death. … Read more

There is no such thing as unconscious.

Margaret Rice interviews Michael Barbato, pic courtesy NSNC.

Dr Michael Barbato recently made a big claim: “There is no such thing as unconsciousness.” He said this when I interviewed him for North Sydney Community Centre’s Conversations about Death and Dying. “Can you share with us, what the latest wisdom is, about the experience of the unconscious when somebody … Read more