Delirium is a common, distressing complication of life-limiting illness, yet poorly understood, often misdiagnosed and poorly managed. The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) recently launched its Delirium Clinical Care Standard. I was fortunate to attend the official launch event on 15th July 2016 – the stand-out of which was the powerful story of Michael, as told by his wife Joan Jackman, who was Community Representative on the Delirium Clinical Care Standard Working Group.
She has kindly allowed me to reproduce her speech here and I hope it will spark discussion about delirium, what we can learn from Michael and Joan’s experience, and how we can do better.
Michael loved the Australian bush. Photo: Wayne Robinson
‘Every medical condition is about a person with an individual history, friends and family, and a personal story. The person in the centre of this story is my husband Michael – a healthy, fit, intelligent man – who had been a fitness trainer in the British Air Force before becoming a British-trained Remedial Gymnast in Rehabilitation, for people with a disability. He was an elite sportsman, with a love of life, and also for his family.
Around the age of fifty-nine or sixty, Michael began to experience changes, utmost being that he became increasingly disengaged –with us, and with life! Something was wrong! We sought help. After three misdiagnoses and six years, Michael was finally diagnosed with a Younger Onset Dementia. He was by then, 66 years old. Continue reading →
I hope you enjoy this week’s reads, which include topics like wills, funerals, dementia, research ethics and the experience of a hospice nurse who becomes carer for her mother. I hope there’s no typos – I’m rushing off to a communication skills workshop but wanted to post this before I leave.
As always, please leave your thoughts in the comments box below.
I hope you enjoy this selection of articles (and some links to photos and videos) about palliative care, research and related topics. If you make it to the bottom, I’m interested to know what you think of the last link. Please share your thoughts, and any recommendations, in the comments section.
“Why is so difficult to prognositicate?” asks neurologist Jules Montague, examining cases of poor prognostication throughout history. (Why doctors get it wrong, The Guardian UK)
Team Palliverse still have a place in our heart for textbooks, and we love it even more when their editors write blog posts. To mark the release of the fifth edition of the Oxford Textbook of Palliative Medicine, the OUP blog is publishing a 3-part series titled “Facing the challenges of palliative care”. Part 1 (Continuity) and Part 2 (Development) are available now. (Oxford University Press)