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‘What is needed to improve care planning for people living with dementia?’

A guest blog post from Tim Luckett PhD, Senior Research Fellow, University of Technology Sydney and Ingrid Duff, Research Assistant, Centre for Cardiovascular and Chronic Care

  • 19 July 2016
  • Author: Sam Parker
  • Number of views: 147
  • 0 Comments
‘What is needed to improve care planning for people living with dementia?’
During National Palliative Care Week, the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) hosted a forum on dementia care planning facilitated by the Director of The Centre for Cardiovascular and Chronic Care, Faculty of Health, Professor Jane Phillips. Imelda Gilmore, an Alzheimer’s Australia NSW Dementia Advocate and wife of a person with dementia, opened the forum by highlighting the importance of “getting the word out to have conversations about end of life early on”. A recurring theme at the forum was the need for care decisions to be person-centred and focused on what the person with dementia would have wanted were they able to speak for themselves, rather than the wishes of surrogate decision-makers. Lynn Chenoweth (Professor of Nursing at the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing, The University of New South Wales) defined person-centredness as respecting the person with dementia’s “values, beliefs, history, likes and dislikes … all of the things that make them unique”.

Palliative Care Workforce Development

A guest blog post from Kylie Ash and Professor Patsy Yates, Queensland University of Technology

  • 12 July 2016
  • Author: Sam Parker
  • Number of views: 94
  • 0 Comments
Palliative Care Workforce Development
“Palliative care is everyone’s business”
This was the theme of Palliative Care Australia’s advocacy in 2013. While this message aimed primarily to promote understanding at the wider community level, it is important for all health care providers to recognise the role they play in palliative care. All health disciplines, in specialist and non-specialist roles, in acute, community and aged care settings, cross paths with people affected by life-limiting illnesses. To provide care reflecting the values and principles of palliative care, the health workforce needs to be appropriately prepared and updated through postgraduate learning, professional experience, and ongoing professional development.

Learning how to recognise end of life

A guest blog post from Kim Devery, Head of Discipline, Senior Lecturer and End-of-Life Essentials Lead, Flinders University, South Australia

  • 5 July 2016
  • Author: Sam Parker
  • Number of views: 227
  • 0 Comments
Learning how to recognise end of life

With 52% of Australians dying in acute hospitals, end-of-life care is essential knowledge for health care professionals.

However, health care professionals working in acute hospitals can find themselves challenged by patients with end-of-life care needs. Doctors, nurses and allied health professionals can be in a situation where they do not know how to best respond to a patient with end-of-life needs. Appropriate end-of-life interventions can be missed.

Digital dying! What is this about?

A Guest Blog Post from Dr Jennifer Tieman, CareSearch Director, Associate Professor, Discipline Palliative and Supportive Services

  • 30 June 2016
  • Author: Sam Parker
  • Number of views: 390
  • 0 Comments
Digital dying! What is this about?

I’ve always been interested in how technology is evolving and how it is affecting our personal and our working worlds. Technology has changed and is continuing to change how we access information, how we communicate, what we create and what we leave behind. So preparing a module on digital dying for our MOOC, Dying2Learn, gave me a wonderful opportunity to explore a number of different aspects of death and dying that have been influenced or changed by digital technologies. 

Some things are immediately obvious. Digital technologies have changed much of health and there are now amazing avenues for assessment, treatment and research that were not available a generation ago. If you are interested in the big picture approach to digital health, I’d suggest you take a look at Ste Davies’ presentation 10 digital health trends for the next 20 years or check out The Medical Futurist, who likes to pose grand challenges for the digital world and transforming health.
 

If death is the problem, is medicine the answer...?

A guest blog from Associate Professor Christine Sanderson, Clinical Research Fellow, University of Notre Dame Australia / Calvary Health Care Kogarah / CareSearch

  • 29 June 2016
  • Author: Sam Parker
  • Number of views: 338
  • 1 Comments
If death is the problem, is medicine the answer...?

This is one of the questions that will be addressed in the Dying2Learn MOOC. As a palliative care doctor, it has been wonderful to have the opportunity to start this conversation, and I am looking forward to the interactions with real anticipation.

In developing this section of the MOOC I have tried hard not to assume too much about what participants should think or believe, or to push any particular perspective. Obviously that is a bit difficult for me, as my work for over a decade has been in the smoke and dust of the clinical battlefields where dying patients often end up i.e. acute hospitals. As palliative medicine clinicians we often feel like we are galloping in to rescue people from the hospital system, and (speaking for myself, anyhow) we can sometimes be a bit black and white about things. What I have learned though, over and over again, is that it is not simple for people. Many are unprepared for the decisions they will need to make, and - like BREXIT perhaps!- may not fully understand what they have let themselves in for until it is too late. The implied consent that comes with agreeing to a course of treatment may lead to a conveyor belt of care with no obvious jumping-off point. In my experience, default clinical treatment is actually not a good way to look after people who are dying. It may not offer choices that allow people to get out of hospital, it may not help people to understand what is happening to them, it may not do enough to ensure people are comfortable, and it simply may not allow them to do what is most important to them when their time is getting short. Often, it is just not kind. That’s my point of view. But in this week of conversations we will be really keen for people to explore what they know, what they fear, or what they have witnessed themselves, and to figure out their own approach to this death and dying thing.
 

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  • CareSearch is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health.

 
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