National Advance Care Planning Week April 16-22

The following media release was circulated this morning by Advance Care Planning Australia

National effort to start an important conversation

National Advance Care Planning Week, April 16-22

Health sector leaders from across Australia have joined forces to promote awareness of the inaugural National Advance Care Planning Week, with hosted events across the nation from Kalgoorlie, Western Australia to Cape Barren Island in Tasmania.

Together they are asking Australians of all ages and health to consider who they would like to speak for them if they were too sick to speak for themselves and what health care decisions they would want them to make.

National Advance Care Planning Week ambassadors represent clinical experts, researchers, authors and peak body and policy leaders, Australia-wide. They include:

•           Dr Chris Moy, Chair of the Ethics and Medico-legal Committee of the Australian Medical Association

•           Dr Karen Detering, Medical Director of Advance Care Planning Australia

•           Dr Will Cairns, Clinical Lead for Queensland’s Strategy for Care at the End of Life

•           Ms Liz Callaghan, CEO of Palliative Care Australia

•           Dr Craig Sinclair, Research Fellow at the Rural Clinical School of Western Australia

Launching for the first time in Australia and funded by the Australian Government, National Advance Care Planning Week is part of an international public awareness effort, coinciding with significant advance care planning initiatives being held in the USA, Canada and New Zealand.

Minister for Health the Hon. Greg Hunt MP is pleased that this important health initiative is garnering support across Australia and focussing attention on advance care planning – a concept not well understood by the general public, but a critical part of healthy ageing.

“Around half of Australians will not be able to make their own end-of-life medical decisions, yet few people take the active steps required to enable control of their future health care. The week will challenge all Australians to start conversations with loved ones about what living well means to them,” says Minister Greg Hunt.

Dr Karen Detering, Medical Director of Advance Care Planning Australia commented, “the evidence is clear that advance care planning can help alleviate stress for people who find themselves asked to make medical decisions for loved ones in need”.

“Do it for yourself. Do if for your loved ones. And ideally do it when you’re fit and well – don’t leave it to chance on the day you present at the emergency room,” says Dr Detering.

More than 100 community groups and health care organisations across Australia have signed up to host an event as part of the initiative, starting an important conversation in their community about making their future health care preferences known.

People can get involved in National Advance Care Planning Week by hosting or attending an event to raise awareness or by finding out more information about advance care planning.

National Advance Care Planning Week is an initiative of Advance Care Planning Australia.

-ENDS-

What is advance care planning?
Advance care planning promotes care that is consistent with your goals, values, beliefs and preferences. It prepares you and others to plan for future health care and a time when you may no longer be able to communicate those decisions yourself. 


Key facts

·         Around half of Australians will not be able to make their own end-of-life medical decisions

·         A third of Australians will die before the age of 75

·         85% of people die after a chronic illness, not a sudden event

·         Research shows that advance care planning can reduce anxiety, depression and stress experienced by families and that they are more likely to be satisfied with their  loved one’s care.

About Advance Care Planning Australia
Advance Care Planning Australia (ACPA) is a national program funded by the Australian Government Department of Health, enabling Australians to make the best choices for their life and health care.

We believe advance care planning is a heartfelt conversation and a personal statement that goes way beyond filling in a form. It’s a commitment to honour and respect an individual’s values and choices. We want to enable every Australian to make the best choices for their life and health care, based on their personal values and beliefs.

ACPA increases advance care planning resources across health sectors and NGOs, improves workforce capability, produces information resources for diverse consumers and communities, and builds the evidence base.


Media enquiries
Please contact us for interview with an advance care planning expert or individuals who can share personal stories about advance care planning.

Download our event media kit, visit the media page.

Rebecca Camilleri
email: rebecca.camilleri@austin.org.au
phone: 03 9496 6653 | 0407 832 093

National Advance Care Planning Week dates announced

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Advance Care Planning Australia has recently announced that National Advance Care Planning week 2018 will be held from 16-22 of April.

They include links for people who are interested in contributing to the national week, by hosting or attending an event. What would you do? A movie night? Barbeque? Seminar? Drinks with folks from your sports club? Book club meeting?  We’re all encouraged to get creative and use the hashtag #acpweek18 to share the love on social media. Of course you’ll be welcome to share it here with us too. Feel free to leave a comment to let others know what you’re planning (no pun intended).

 

Research opportunities in palliative care

Read on if you are interested in some research opportunities in palliative care, based at HammondCare in Sydney.

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Latest developments on assisted dying: ICEL conference, Halifax 2017

So the last few days has been interesting for me. As GoGently Australia launched their latest campaign to advocate for assisted dying legislation, I’ve been removed from the public response in Australia, while attending the ICEL conference in Halifax. It’s been a great chance to hear about recent developments in Canada, and reflect on the data and some of the ‘lived experiences’ of practitioners, family members and patients, which has emerged through recent research.

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Research priorities in Australian adult palliative care

We at Palliverse support open dialogue between researchers, clinicians, policy-makers and the broader community as to how things are going and what are the priority areas for future work. Please see below a research opportunity which is relevant to researchers and clinicians working in Australian adult palliative care settings. Continue reading

Palliverse researcher hub

It’s well known that research can be a demanding and sometimes lonely road, particularly for those new to the discipline. Early career researchers often have to build networks, lead projects, write applications to funders and ethics committees, liaise with project stakeholders, analyse data and present findings, all while building networks and managing a precarious career pathway with little security. Support and skill-sharing is critical during this process. The Palliverse researcher hub was formed in 2016, following a discussion between some of our crew at a conference. The idea was a regular, informal get-together for post-grad and early career palliative care researchers, to discuss aspects of our projects, seek advice and share experiences. We meet bi-monthly for around an hour, and keep a relatively open agenda, to aim for the kind of reflective discussion you don’t always get at departmental seminars or CPD sessions. We’ve started small, and now are ready to branch out a little. If you are a palliative care researcher working in Australia or New Zealand, and think you’d like to join our group, please get in touch with us by emailing craig.sinclair@uwa.edu.au. Happy researching!

‘Elder Abuse: A National Legal Response’ – Report from Australian Law Reform Commission

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Today is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. The United Nations, in their resolution 66/127, established June 15th as a global day, which aims to raise awareness about elder abuse as a global issue, ‘everybody’s business’ and one that will become of increasing importance as our global population ages.

Elder abuse is defined as ‘a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person’ (WHO). It can include physical, psychological, emotional, financial or sexual abuse, and neglect.

While palliative and end-of-life care is not solely an issue for older people, it is timely to remember that many people accessing palliative care are also ageing, and often experiencing issues associated with elderhood, including societal attitudes towards older people. Many of these issues can influence people’s access to support, social engagement, health services and the enjoyment of personal freedoms and decision-making rights, making this an area of direct relevance for palliative care.

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Supporting communities to start conversations about end of life care

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Many of you who are regular Palliverse readers will be aware of our ongoing promotion regarding the need for the community as a whole to support open discussions about death, dying and end-of-life care. A group of researchers from the University of Alabama have recently published on a novel approach to this issue. In this study, they report on the effects of training lay community members as ‘health navigators’, who work with patients in hospital to help them understand the process of advance care planning, and to facilitate their further discussions with their family and healthcare team.

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Palliative Care WA 2016 Conference: Registrations Open

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Registrations for the Palliative Care WA State Conference are now open. The conference will be held on 29-30 November 2016 at Joondalup Resort. Online registration is available here. Look forward to seeing you there!

Unspoken… a theatrical perspective on advance care planning

End-of-life care and decision making is not something many people feel comfortable discussing, and yet is a conversation that all of us would benefit from having.

In order to generate awareness of and discussion around Advance Care Planning, Health Issues Centre is presenting a theatrically inspired event in Melbourne titled Unspoken (What Will Become of Me?).

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