Palliative Care

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

The case of the disappearing ambulance care plan

The case of the disappearing ambulance care plan

RK, 97, lives in a nursing home. He has dementia which is progressing rapidly and he’s losing his swallow reflex. So he’s more likely to aspirate food and saliva – inhaling them into his windpipe, causing pneumonia. And this is what happened, leading to fever, one night in late May … Read more

Of Critical Importance.

“Palliative and end of life care are absolutely critical parts of aged care,” Sean Rooney, Leading Age Services Australia CEO.

“Palliative and end of life care are absolutely critical parts of aged care,” Sean Rooney, Leading Age Services Australia CEO, told Good Grief! as the Federal budget with its big investment in aged care was announced. This follows the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety The Commission reported “confronting personal stories of under-resourcing, … Read more

Who makes it out alive?

Who Makes It Out Alive?

What a great headline. Katrin Gerber has used it with the added thought – “Predicting survival to discharge of hospital patients referred to residential aged care.” Dr Gerber and her team looked retrospectively over a two year period at the files of 71 patients leaving an acute hospital in Melbourne. … Read more

Happy 100th Guy!

With-100-year-old-Guy-Warren-just-outside-his-busy-studio

I thought I was the early bird, just now sneaking in at 6.30 the evening before the big day to wish artist Guy Warren happy birthday. He turns 100 tomorrow. But family and friends are already at his house, celebrating with very classy French champagne. They are not leaving before … Read more

Change is a coming – to palliative care

Change is a coming - to palliative care. Photo by Jeremy Wong - Unsplash

Here’s Good Grief’s bullet point review of Volume 1 Summary and Recommendations, of Australia’s Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. It’s a report we want to help you keep an eye on. The Commission’s report, delivered last February, is a fantastic opportunity for everyone – including lay people, … Read more

Giving Choice and Power to the Dying

By Sandra Moon Are you with me in thinking the funeral industry is incredibly expensive? Would you take that thought one step further and build your own coffin? Well you can make your own coffin and one way is by accessing a coffin club. But the benefits of making a … Read more

Of droughts and flooding plains.

Sadly, one person has died in the NSW floods. Our hearts go out to the young man’s family. The 25-year-old got trapped in his car at Glenorie, a place we know and love. News reports say he was caught by suddenly rising flood waters on Cattai Ridge Road. We’re thinking … Read more

It’s not what you see in the movies, says Kathryn Mannix.

It's not what you see in the movies, Kathryn says.

We love this. Kathryn Mannix is a palliative care specialist from the UK who we admire. And she’s recently written a book on approaching death, With The End In Mind. This is a similar take to mine – which is not as surprising as it may seem. Because when people … Read more

Kim’s story

"Doula work is something I’d been searching for all along and not known about," says Kim.

Kim Somerville looks like someone you’d expect to be working with chic designer wear at Noosa or another upmarket beach. The day we chatted at her favourite local coffee shop in Sydney’s Lilli Pilli, she wore her blonde hair tied back from her light-filled, open face. Her navy linen dress … Read more

Improving palliative care in nursing homes.

Kathleen Wurth blogged at Caresearch recently.

We’re still hearing uncomfortable stories from readers about the deaths of their elderly in nursing homes. Sometimes only a little thing went wrong, making the family sad for the dying person, and undoing other good intentions. Other times it was a bigger problem. So today we’re shining the spotlight on … Read more

HelloCare discusses ‘One happy year’.

HelloCare discusses 'One-Happy-Year' in an interview with Colleen Cartwright.

Of the many articles I read last year, this one really lingered. It’s an interview with the always provocative, always fiercely practical Colleen Cartwright. Journalist Caroline Egan published it in HelloCare in November last year. Colleen is a specialist in aged care, advance care planning and the rights of the … Read more

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