US expert to speak at public forum on death & dying

Hello folks. 
We just caught news of this event… and if you live in Victoria, it’s one not to miss!
US expert, Dr Diane Meier (@DianeEMeier), will be speaking at a public forum about transforming the care of the seriously ill through palliative care. Everyone is welcome and it’s bound to be a treat. 

If you’re interested, you can register via the link below.

US expert to transform palliative care conversation
International palliative care expert Dr Diane E. Meier will be the keynote speaker at a public forum on death and dying to be held in Melbourne on February 23.

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Dying well

It’s a couple of years old now, but still good…. Here is the introduction to an article in the Conversation about how Australians need support to die at home. Should be mandatory reading for politicians and health service policy makers!

“The baby boomers are growing old and in the next 25 years the number of Australians who die each year will double. People want to die comfortably at home, supported by family and friends and effective services.

But more than half of Australians die in hospital and about a third die in residential care. Sometimes they have impersonal, lingering and lonely deaths; many feel disempowered.

Grattan Institute’s Dying Well report sets out how we can improve the quality of dying in Australia. With an investment of A$237 million, we can double the number of people who are supported to die at home – and the same amount could be released from institutional care spending to pay for it.”

I’d vote for it!

Read more here


3 online events in the Palliverse this week!

PallANZ 201601

Here at Palliverse, we love online communities of practice. The monthly #PallANZ tweet chat, co-hosted by Palliverse and Palliative Care Australia, is not the only online educational opportunity that may be of interest this week. While we hope you join us for Thursday evening’s #PallANZ discussion of advance care planning, you might also like to check out the following exciting events: Continue reading

Speaking words of wisdom, let it be…

‘The wisdom of the dying’ has perhaps become a cliché nowadays. A Google search using those few words returns around 39 million results.

But what I am really curious about, are the few words that really pierced your heart or absorbed your mind; those simple words that affected your spirit in a profound way.

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I think therefore I am? – Connecting?

Heart Connection (by Alisa Looney)

Heart Connection by Alisa Looney. Photo by Nancy Regan, taken in Puyallup, Washington, used under Creative Commons licence.

Talking to patients can be challenging, and it can be a struggle to make a connection sometimes. You need to have a plan as to how you are going to play the interaction game, and  it can feel like a particularly demanding game of chess at times. You may have to pick your words carefully, as not everyone is naturally trusting, especially towards someone that they have never met before i.e. a total stranger. What worked on patient A in room 2 may fail dismally with patient C in room 5. Everyone is different as are their responses to your attempts to make a connection. That is what it is all about, through use of all the communication skills that you have learnt, you try to make a connection with another person. How can I ‘click’ with the other person in order for us to have important conversations?

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Enhancing Palliative Care for GPs: Clinical audit on end-of-life care

Ed: Thank you David and Caresearch for allowing us to share this post focusing on ways to enhance primary palliative care for general practitioners.  We at Palliverse agree that dialogue around the GPs role in palliative care is timely and important.  We would welcome further contributions on this topic.


Banksy Dr and Heart

Banksy Hits San Fransisco (mod). Thomas Hawk via Flickr. CC BY 4.0


Hi everybody. I am a GP of 25 years’ experience. I deal a lot with aged care and palliative care. I recently completed a Clinical Audit on end-of-life care through Decision Assist. I wrote a short piece for Caresearch about doing the Audit for Decision Assist as I found the process of reflecting on my practice and looking at changes very worthwhile. Here is what I wrote.

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Call for Survey Participants in Victoria

Are you currently working in the palliative care sector in Victoria?


One of colleagues in the Palliverse has been working hard to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people receive quality end of life care. Steve Kirkbright is a Project Officer for The Victorian Aboriginal Palliative Care Collaborative (VAPCC). He’s seeking people working in the palliative care sector in Victoria to participate in a brief, online survey. You’ll find more details and a link below.
If you’re also conducting research and would like to share it with us, please get in touch via @palliverse or
Pictured:  Palliative care resources available from VACCHO  

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#PallANZ tweet chat: Advance Care Planning

PallANZ 201601

Advance care planning is an important process that is increasingly being taken up by our community. When done well, it can help those with serious illnesses take control of their future health care. However, many people in our community still do not know about advance care planning, which means those who are likely to benefit from the process are missing out.

How can we do better?  Continue reading

Palace of Care – Driving too fast

It had all happened so fast, much too fast. Unwell on Tuesday, into hospital on Wednesday. It was all bad news, he was told that he had only possibly a week or two to live. Confronted with his imminent mortality he decided to go to Hospice. He was worried about how his family would cope with him at home, he wanted to make sure that they would be looked after.

They had always done everything together as a couple, right from when they were teenagers. They had made all the important decisions together. But when it came to the decision to go to Hospice he had made it on his own.

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I think therefore I am? – Is healing possible at the end of life?


Photo by Glen Carrie

Since arrival she had been very anxious and spent most of the first few days alone in her room. “I don’t want to interact with anyone, please leave me alone, keep the curtains closed and the lights off” – like a hermit crab withdrawing deeper into her shell.

Worsening pain had brought her to us, severe physical pain, the result of increasingly bad news about the toll her disease was taking on her body over the past six months, and also likely emotional pain as evidenced by worsening anxiety. Despite the team’s best attempts at connecting she remained aloof and guarded, sleep being a source of solace.

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