August #PALLANZ tweetchat – Funerals

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Robert Larkins, in his book Funeral Rights explains how “…in a little over 80 years, it has become the norm in Australia for a person to die in an institution and for strangers to collect the body and spirit it away to some mysterious and inaccessible mortuary.” He ascribes this transition to a combination of complex legislation, inadequate community awareness and in some cases, exploitation by those in the ‘death-care’ industry.

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From Foundation to Future: Palliative Care Nurses Australia (PCNA) 6th Biennial Conference, 11-12 September 2016: Hotel Realm, Canberra.

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Calling all nurses… Next month PCNA will celebrate more than a decade of progress towards its vision of excellence in palliative care nursing.

DID YOU play a part in establishing the foundation for this progress?

DO YOU want to contribute to future progress towards this vision?

ARE YOU just curious to check out the latest advances in palliative care nursing?

Whether you’re in Canberra, Cooma, Clayfield, Carlton, or Christchurch—this conference is your opportunity to meet and mingle with experts in your field, as well as catch up with old colleagues or make new friends and professional connections.

In this post we give an overview of the conference program and keynote speakers presenting at what promises to be an outstanding conference, not to be missed!

#PCNAust16 by @PCNAust

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#ANZSPM16 – Frailty, the older person and palliative care

At ANZSPM16 one topic up for discussion will be the palliative care and frailty in older people.  If you are interested in knowing a bit more about this then read on.

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#ANZSPM16 Palliative care for older people – How should we provide care?

A key theme of ANZSPM 2016 is providing palliative care for the older person.  There is perhaps no greater change to the palliative care landscape than that of our ageing population, and the challenges that this will pose how we approach and define palliative care.  This short series of posts will explore some of the key issues in this area of practice.

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ANZSPM 2016 – Latest evidence on medical cannabis in palliative care

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Cannabis is a plant which produces a large number of potentially useful chemical compounds. Patients have figured this out and are far ahead of the medical establishment in their understanding of how to use the plant. Palliative care and other health providers have to rapidly catch up with the necessary research, and in the meantime work with patients as partners as we learn.

If you want to learn more about the basic physiology and pharmacology of cannabinoids, the therapeutic evidence for cannabinoids, or hear about the international experience with prescription cannabinoids – join the Australia and New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine Conference to be held in Perth on the 8th -11th  September 2016.

#ANZSPM16 will feature two presenters on medical cannabis including International Keynote Dr Pippa Hawley from British Colombia Cancer Agency’s Pain & Symptom Management/Palliative Care Program and Dr Maureen Mitchell.

For some good bedtime reading on this topic ahead of #ANZSPM16, check out this recent review of cannabinoids for medical use & please share below if you’re aware of other good literature on this topic!

@palliverse

Delirium in palliative care – 10 tips in 140 characters

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Here are the first ten tips that came to mind for the management of delirium in specialist palliative care.* Of course, there are many more to list. Please share your top tips in the comments. Continue reading

Palace of Care / I think therefore I am? #gotjnrbak The final update.

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What would happen after the joyous reunion of Poppa and Junior? This was a question asked at our multidisciplinary meeting two and a half months ago. From the accumulated experience of our staff members we thought it could go either of two ways:

  1. Poppa might get a “boost” from being reunited with Junior and other family members, and might improve.
  2. Poppa had used what was left of his energy holding on to see Junior and would continue to deteriorate.

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Michael’s story: Delirium – “the fear on his face was palpable”

Delirium is a common, distressing complication of life-limiting illness, yet poorly understood, often misdiagnosed and poorly managed. The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) recently launched its Delirium Clinical Care Standard. I was fortunate to attend the official launch event on 15th July 2016 – the stand-out of which was the powerful story of Michael, as told by his wife Joan Jackman, who was Community Representative on the Delirium Clinical Care Standard Working Group.

She has kindly allowed me to reproduce her speech here and I hope it will spark discussion about delirium, what we can learn from Michael and Joan’s experience, and how we can do better.

 

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Michael loved the Australian bush. Photo: Wayne Robinson

Michael’s story:

‘Every medical condition is about a person with an individual history, friends and family, and a personal story. The person in the centre of this story is my husband Michael – a healthy, fit, intelligent man – who had been a fitness trainer in the British Air Force before becoming a British-trained Remedial Gymnast in Rehabilitation, for people with a disability. He was an elite sportsman, with a love of life, and also for his family.

Around the age of fifty-nine or sixty, Michael began to experience changes, utmost being that he became increasingly disengaged –with us, and with life! Something was wrong! We sought help.  After three misdiagnoses and six years, Michael was finally diagnosed with a Younger Onset Dementia. He was by then, 66 years old.   Continue reading

Delirium: Why we should (palliative) care

In palliative care, delirium is everyone’s business. Anyone can get delirium if they are seriously ill. It is a distressing symptom – for the person with delirium, their loved ones and the professionals who care for them. Although it is common, potentially preventable and may be reversible, it is often missed, misdiagnosed and mismanaged despite our best intentions.

This 5-minute video is an excellent resource for the public and health professionals alike, (and seems to cover everything that it takes me 45 minutes to teach to nurses or doctors!). I discovered it via its co-creator, Delirium Champion Dr MS Krishnan.

This week, I am taking over Palliverse to share posts about delirium in palliative care – from conferences to clinical standards to a heart-wrenching personal story. Continue reading

Bill’s Story: “Bill United” as a Compassionate Community

Ahead of tonight’s #PallANZ Tweet Chat – we wanted to share here, the way Milford Care (In Ireland) so poignantly paint this picture of a Compassionate Community, through Bill’s Story – featuring his community “Bill United”

What would your story look like?

For more videos similar to this, visit: www.compassionatecommunities.ie