Advanced care planning

13 questions about aged care for your local politician

Photo by Eberhard Grossgasteiger on Unsplash

Updated 15 March, 2022. Aged Care Reform Now (ACRN) asked if we would give their ‘13 questions – where do you stand on aged care’ campaign some publicity. It’s a year since the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety – but there hasn’t been enough improvement to aged … Read more

Our new Resource Hub is here and we’re over the moon!

Good Grief Resource Hub

Our little team here at Good Grief! is over the moon! The mission of Good Grief! is to provide articles, newsletters, resources, and workshops for grief management & end of life discussion and we’ve just improved the way we do it. Cynthia, our graphic designer, has added the finishing touches to … Read more

Excruciating and gut-wrenching, says Kerri-Anne Kennerley.

Studio 10 TV Interview with Kerri-Anne Kennerley and Joe Hildebrand

“Okay, what do you call ‘a good death?’,” Kerri-Anne Kennerley asked. Kerri-Anne was asking pertinent questions – prompted by her own painful experience and this has become one of my favourite interviews. Kerri-Anne’s beloved husband John Kennerley had only died four months before, in February 2019, following a long illness … 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

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

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

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

National Advance Care Planning Week, March 22-26.

From an Advance Care Planning Australia video

As the organisers say, it’s “a time to talk about what matters most”. “National Advance Care Planning Week is an annual initiative by Advance Care Planning Australia that encourages all Australians, regardless of their age or health status, to make their future health care preferences known,” they explain on their … Read more

When ventilation goes too far.

A still from by Brad Racino's video in Deciding When a Life is No Longer Worth Living

Ventilators keeping more than 8000 patients alive, in nursing homes: it doesn’t seem plausible. But it’s true. In the US today approximately 8200 ventilators are being used in nursing homes, triggering a debate about whether these should be turned over to covid-19 patients, in the event of the country’s ventilator … Read more

Death doulas are becoming increasingly popular in Australia – so what exactly do they do?

Interest in death doulas grows

Death doulas are becoming increasingly popular in Australia – so what exactly do they do? Because theirs is only an emerging field, roles and what we can expect from people who define themselves as ‘death doulas’ can vary. But what is becoming increasingly clear is that more and more people … Read more

Your Covid-19 team wants to know what you want.

Prepare For Your Care

We’ve found a good, practical, user-friendly resource that can help you with advance care planning if you become ill with Covid-19. The following message comes from, the US, one of the busiest countries dealing with Covid-19. Thank you very much to Colorado Care Planning at https://coloradocareplanning.org/ who helped us track … Read more

More questions than ever about advance care directives.

Who-speaks-for-us-when-we-cant-speak-for-ourselves

Advance care directives are evolving – and there’s so much more to know. For example, how do they work in a pandemic? But the main question is: Are the people who could benefit most from them, thinking about them? First step is to take the first step! This Canadian video … Read more

Let’s avoid collateral damage.

Patients who need resuscitation are being managed very differently because of Covid-19, something that is causing concern for emergency medicine specialists. They fear that resuscitation efforts won’t meet the standard we are used to in emergency departments, so non-Covid-19 patients will become ‘collateral damage’. “I understand that we need to protect … Read more

A Good Death testimonial

Sydney reader Sue Reid has written a testimonial of A Good Death, available through Murdoch Books. This book has been of great use to my family as we reorganised mum (aged 90 years) and dad’s (aged 91 years) affairs over the past year. Their will was over 10 years old … Read more