Palliative Care

Have you heard of a death doula?

A story about the developing work of death doulas can be found on Page 90 in the October issue of The Australian Women’s Weekly, available now. The introduction: “There is a quiet, serene revolution going on in the way we farewell our loved ones. Caroline Baum meets the women, known as … Read more

What is a next-of-kin?

Yesterday I signed on as a dear friend’s next-of-kin, through the NSW police program. My friend lives alone and registering her form with her local police station means if she’s involved in an accident or major incident, I’ll be informed, so will be able to support her. I’ll let her … Read more

Not a time to go it alone

  Today,  a story of successful support from Dorothy Kamaker and her team for Sandra. Dorothy is one of those advocates we need more of: she helps people navigate our confusing modern health care system to get the style of care they want – whether minimal or all out, usually … Read more

Congratulations Noelene!

  Noelene graduates today at the Liverpool Hospital Palliative Care Volunteer training program. It’s a great program run by great people. She receives her certificate from Janeane Harlum, the area Palliative Care Manager and Alex Huntir, of Palliative Care NSW.

Why did this happen?

I spoke to Suzan last week. Hers is a disturbing but common story. I’m going to talk to palliative carers about what went wrong and report back on how to avoid this happening to you. When Suzan’s brother Frank was dying of a rare brain disease he was in an … Read more

$100m boost to palliative care in NSW

(This was first posted on June 12 at 8.33pm.) Fantastic news – NSW is increasing funding for palliative care by $100 million. “An extra $100 million will be pumped into palliative care over four years, including funding to employ new specialists and train 300 nurses and allied health staff.” That’s … Read more

A great description of palliative care

Palliative care: Provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms Affirms life and regards dying as a normal process Intends to neither hasten nor postpone death Integrates the psychological and spiritual aspects of patient care Offers a support system to help patients live as actively as possible until death. I … Read more

At her window

It’s easy to miss the practical companioning aspect to the care of the dying in our modern, acute-care oriented health system.  Creativity and Life coach Helen Carmichael lives in a Bondi flat with a view over that iconic Sydney beach and she watched from her window as an elderly neighbour lay … Read more

It’s not as simple as numbers, says Linda

“Oh dear!”  Linda Hansen groaned as she looked at yesterday’s posting. Linda is the Executive Officer of Palliative Care NSW and every time a story comes out, like the one I posted yesterday, she frets that the good people working in palliative care will feel undervalued. That posting picked … Read more

Palliative care appalling – expert

Palliative care in regional NSW at 1960s standards, expert tells ABC News By Liz Farquhar ABC News   One of Australia’s first specialist palliative care doctors has accused New South Wales health authorities of dropping the ball when it comes to end of life care. Yvonne McMaster said regional areas … Read more

Who needs to know?

When someone dies who needs to be told? It can be hard to work this out, especially when you are grieving. It may not feel necessary and it may be the last thing on your mind. But letting the appropriate people know will stop them from sending unnecessary mail and … Read more

Patients need the truth at the end, says Jeanette

Heather Wiseman interviews Jeanette Lacey for Palliative Care Australia. “In my experience, about 85 per cent of Intensive Care Unit patients who had chronic and complex health conditions had never considered that they might be terminal in nature. Often it was only when they came to intensive care with an … Read more

Book review: Journeys of the Heart

Journeys of the Heart by Jodi Rose. Arbon Publishing. After losing her husband, the famous Australian swimmer Murray Rose, Jodi searched out the stories of other carers who were there for those they loved, supporting them until they died. Those interviews turned into this collection of stories. The subtitle of … Read more

If only I knew

Palliative Care Australia’s pamphlet “If Only I knew” tells the story of Suzanne, who is dying. “I’ve thought a lot about dying because my Dad was living with us when he passed. We had a lot in common because we were both facing our mortality. I could talk to him about … Read more