Delirium update at #ANZSPM17 Update

delirium @#ANZSPM17

We think delirium is a pretty big deal here at Palliverse, having devoted quite a few blog posts over the years to discussing this important issue in palliative care.

Well, delirium will be the focus of the first session at the upcoming 4th Australian and New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine (ANZSPM) Medical & Surgical Update for Palliative Medicine (#ANZSPM17), which will be held between June 23-24th at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, Australia.

Chaired by @Meera_Agar – the lead author of the seminal paper examining the role of antipsychotics in the management of delirium symptoms in the palliative care setting, which was published in JAMA Internal Medicine earlier this year – the session will feature presentations from Professor Agar, as well as:

  • Dr Simon Allan, palliative care physician, Director of Palliative Care at Arohanui Hospice in New Zealand and the current President of the Australasian Chapter of Palliative Medicine, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians,
  • Dr Chris Moran, geriatrician from Alfred Health and research fellow at Monash University, and
  • Dr Justin Dwyer, psychiatrist and Medical Director of the Psychosocial Cancer Care service at St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne.

After the presentations, a panel discussion involving the speakers will offer the audience plenty of opportunities to further explore this hot topic in palliative care.

Of course, delirium is just one of the many great topics that will be examined in detail during the fourth iteration of this biennial meeting. To find out more about the #ANZSPM17 Update, and to take advantage of the early bird registration rate until May 24th, go to: https://willorganise.eventsair.com/QuickEventWebsitePortal/2017-anzspm-update/update

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Advance care directives, palliative care, and euthanasia

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[Image by Nick Youngson]

Why do palliative care people bang on about advance care planning all the time?

Well, when you break it all down, advance care planning is all about respect. Respecting the values, goals and preferences of the person making the plan. And palliative care is really big on respecting people’s preferences and values, especially when it comes to their end-of-life care.

Unfortunately, when it comes to respecting people’s choices around their health care, the law has been lagging behind. Existing laws around advance care plans and medical decision making are often confusing for patients and families, as well as their treating clinicians. Fortunately, this is all about to change in Victoria.  Continue reading

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

PCNA Conf16

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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New web resource: End of Life law in Australia

A new website from the Australian Centre for Health Law Research aims to provide practical legal information for consumers, practitioners and the community, in relation to End of Life law in Australia.

End of Life law in Australia covers the key aspects of the law for each Australian jurisdiction, and includes laws relating to advance directives, guardianship, palliative care, withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining treatment, organ donation and euthanasia.

Please contact ACHLR Coordinator Penny Neller for further information and/or contributions.

 

Modern dying from a doctor’s perspective

 

A thoughtful article regarding our modern attitudes to dying by Dr Craig Bowron, an internist (i.e. physician in internal medicine for us Down Under, or general medicine consultant)

Opting to try all forms of medical treatment and procedures to assuage this guilt is also emotional life insurance: When their loved one does die, family members can tell themselves, “We did everything we could for Mom.”

In my experience, this is a stronger inclination than the equally valid (and perhaps more honest) admission that “we sure put Dad through the wringer those last few months.”

I agree with Dr Bowron, that sometimes we may not consider the cost to the person (not the financial cost, other costs) of being able to say, “We did everything we could.”

What do you think? Does this apply where you are?

Regards, Sonia

PS Thanks to Tegan, a social worker I work with, for pointing me to this article.

A woman’s world?: Palliative care from a gendered perspective

Ed: As many of you will know #pledgeforparity was the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day on the 8th of March.  But to be able to make such a pledge meaningful first we we need to understand where inequality resides.  This important work from Tessa Morgan, Merryn Gott, and Lisa Williams begins to explore how questions of gender equity relate to palliative care.  

Do we understand culture's effect on care roles?

Do we understand culture’s effect on care roles?

Dying at home is widely celebrated as the pinnacle of a ‘good death’. It is therefore unsurprising that governments internationally are framing current moves to increase the numbers of people dying at home as a ‘win-win’ situation. People get what they want at the end of their lives and the health system saves money. Result! However, is it really that straightforward? Increasingly, our research group has been thinking about the unpaid workforce we rely on to enact home dying. Who are they? How does this caring work impact upon them physically, psychologically, socially and financially? Why are they so invisible?

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I think therefore I am? – Its a small world after all.

 

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Photo by Sid Mosdell, taken on March 28, 2012

Over the years I have been privileged to share some meals with a visiting Lama from the Tibetan Buddhist Faith. Rinpoche is based in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA but regularly visits New Zealand. Dinners with Rinpoche are always very interesting and he has many stories to tell. Given my own professional interests, the topic of death and dying often comes up. During one of those conversations Rinpoche shared a related story about one of his late American friends.

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

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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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Death and dying in the media

coming up

Q&A. Love it or loath it, or maybe a bit of both. But there is no denying that it strikes a chord with a sizable portion of the Australian population who would perhaps rather not be watching A Current AffairToday Tonight or their new lovechild: The Verdict. Continue reading

3rd Australian Palliative Care Research Colloquium

Prof Patsy Yates sharing her reflections on setting up a NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in end-of-life care at the PCRNV Breakfast Forum

Prof Patsy Yates sharing her reflections on setting up a NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in End of Life Care at the PCRNV Breakfast Forum

For the third year in a row, the Australian Palliative Care Research Colloquium was held at the Rendezvous Grand Hotel in Melbourne on October 22-23. The meeting was once again preceded by a breakfast forum hosted by Palliative Care Research Network Victoria (PCRNV), which served as a tempting entrée to the two-day main course of fantastic presentations and workshops exploring a diverse range of topics pertaining to palliative care research. Conversations about research continued over tea and meal breaks, next to quality poster presentations, and during the convivial conference dinner on the banks of the Yarra.  Continue reading

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