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.
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 →
During the event the key message was of the importance of communication skills to be able to provide care that is patient-centred, empathetic, safe, ethical, efficient and high-quality. Unlike many other clinical skills communication is also largely universal in that it is practiced by clinicians in all encounters. Supporting communication skills education is therefore a critical way of improving the quality of care provided by our healthcare system.
She detailed some powerful anecdotes, including the story of two sisters whose mother lay dying in a hospital. The cost of parking was prohibitive and the daughters took it in turns to sit in the car watching out for the parking inspector. When their mother died, only one of the daughters was there; the other was in the car. Continue reading →
The Victorian government has released the long awaited end of life and palliative care framework. The framework aims to deliver care where and when people require it and ensure people from all walks of life can determine what happens to them at the end of their life. It recognises that palliative care services alone cannot meet the growing demand that our society will require for care in the final stage of life.
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.”
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.
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 Affair, Today Tonight or their new lovechild: The Verdict. Continue reading →
World Hospice and Palliative Care Day is a global day of action organised by the Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance and held on the second Saturday of October every year. It aims to:
Raise awareness of the needs of people and families living with a life-limiting illness
Create opportunities to talk about the issues around improving access to hospice and palliative care around the world
Raise funds to develop and support hospice and palliative care services around the world
The theme this year is “Hidden Lives, Hidden Patients” – focusing on people whose palliative care needs are often not recognised, such as children, indigenous people, those living in rural settings, prisoners, soldiers, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex individuals.
To help to raise awareness about “Hidden Lives, Hidden Patients”, Palliverse and Palliative Care Australia invite everyone to join us for a tweet chat on Thursday,October 8th using the hashtag #PallANZ Continue reading →
Check out the Harkness fellowship for a paid 12 month period in the USA for you and your family. It’s available to applicants from Australia and New Zealand (due by 8th Sept) and also Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom (due in November).
You will probably need a Master’s degree or a PhD, or at least a bachelor’s degree plus applicable work experience.
They would like “a research proposal that falls within the scope of The Commonwealth Fund’s mission …… the Fund’s priority areas include: expanding access to affordable health insurance coverage; transforming the health care delivery system to improve patient outcomes and control costs through payment reform, primary care, and coordinated care systems, with a particular focus on the sickest and most vulnerable patients; learning from successful international delivery system innovation.”
Love that they are looking for “the kinds of game-changing ideas that can potentially disrupt the current health care system in positive ways.”