It is already mid January 2017, and I’ve not yet posted a blog, so am hoping to rectify the today! I started this ages ago, but have had trouble paddling since December so have not achieved very much at all. Anyway, it may be worth looking back and reflecting as we prepare for yet another year. The years certainly fly by so quickly as one gets older, which I wrote about many years ago, but cannot find that particular blog.
As I have a lot of new followers of this blog, I thought I’d highlight a few from over the years (easier than writing a new one, by the way!). The grief of dementia is one of the most unspoken of topics, not our grief families feel as we change and lose function, then die, but the grief we feel as we lose capacity and as our abilities change to disabilities, and we are…
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.
Grief and loss is something we will all face at different times throughout our lives. Whether it is the death of our pets, our friends, our children, siblings or parents; the experience and expression of grief in response to these losses can be a very personal and individual thing. Grief can also arise in anticipation of loss. For those living with life-limiting illness, living with the loss of social role and professional identity can be especially challenging.
Thoughts about old, new and future losses can be particularly common during the festive season. For some of us, it may represent an anniversary of the death of a loved one, and bring with it painful memories of loss. Some might be facing their first Christmas ‘alone’, while others may be grappling with the possibility of celebrating their ‘last Christmas’.
While living with grief and loss is a personal experience, we don’t have to endure it on our own. As a community, there are many ways that we can support each other. Join Palliverse and Palliative Care Australia CEO Liz Callaghan (@PCACEO) to reflect on 2016 and talk about grief and loss.
Carers and people with palliative care needs are especially welcome, as are health professionals, researchers, policymakers and interested community members!
Delirium robs dying people of their autonomy, dignity and last conversations with loved ones, at a time when every moment is precious.
Symptoms are highly distressing to experience and watch. Confusion, incoherent communication, poor attention, agitation, drowsiness and hallucinations are some markers of this common complication for people dying in hospital from cancer and other advanced illnesses. On average one in three people in end-of-life hospital care are affected.
Doctors commonly prescribe antipsychotic medications to try to relieve these symptoms. However, our study just published in JAMA Internal Medicine, raises serious concerns about their safety and efficacy.
So, what are we to do for people experiencing delirium, who are robbed of their mental awareness and ability to communicate?
Kasia’s research aims to improve sustainable acute care health delivery for an ageing population, while her clinical experience includes general medical and acute palliative care. In her PhD, Kasia developed an approach to measure nurse-sensitive outcomes, which is currently being used to evaluate a Government-funded implementation of a cognitive identifier. Kasia has a passion for identifying and researching the structures and processes which impede or enable quality patient care, and sharing her learning and inquiry with nursing students, industry and professional groups. Here, Palliverse asks her about her latest research project and dipping her toe into the world of social media.
Decision Assist is running a series of free webinars on advance care planning and palliative care.
For those of you new to webinars, you can watch the presentation live on the internet and interact with the presenters, or just watch the presentation later. Some health services and aged care facilities are watching them together as part of their continuing professional development or education programs.
Here is a link to register. The next one is presented by Ilsa Hampton, CEO, Meaningful Ageing Australia
Decision Assist Aged Care Webinar Series – Grief, trauma and loss
We all struggle to live a good life but what about a good death? Can we ever be truly prepared for the inevitable?
Molly Carlile is a ‘death talker’ who is committed to helping Australians ‘die well’. She talks about physician-assisted dying, planning for death, and the need for a cultural shift in the way we think about death and dying.
Here is a link from the ABCs Radio National to an interview with Molly Carlile, palliative care activist and author.
“Never the twain shall meet,” has been the oft repeated refrain when it comes to technology and palliative care.
Palliative care has traditionally focused on providing ‘low-tech and high-touch’ services, are these concepts outdated or have we entered an era of algorithm-driven automaton provided health-care(?) In the next 20 years, 47 to 81% of jobs in the future will be threatened by developing technologies, are palliative care jobs at risk as well? Can the tin-man actually do the job as well if he doesn’t have a heart?
Has science-fiction become science-fact? The team at Melbourne’s own Anatomics are leading the way with custom-made 3D-printed patient implants. What possible impacts could 3D-printing have on palliative care provision? Continue reading →
If you could only admit one patient to your service today but you have many referrals, which patient would you choose?
Palliative Care is in urgent need of a robust and evidence-based system for triaging referrals in an equitable, efficient and transparent manner. If you are a health professional working primarily in palliative care anywhere in the world with at least two years of experience, we want to know your views!