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The views and opinions expressed in our blog series are those of the authors and are not necessarily supported by CareSearch, Flinders University and/or the Australian Government Department of Health.
Health care professionals agree that the quality of care provided in the emergency department for dying patients and their families is often not as good as it needs to be. Dr Tracy Giles of Flinders University explains how her research into the experiences of family members will help to identify what is working well already and areas of care that need improvement, and how you can become involved.
Move it or lose it, as the saying goes, is relevant to the field of palliative care. In fact, evidence suggests that up to 30% of muscle weakness in advanced illness can be due to inactivity itself.
Physiotherapists are in a prime position to make a difference to how patients experience end of life by helping them maximise their independence at each stage. Expertise in functional assessment combined with an understanding of the impact of symptoms on the lived experience enables therapists to work closely with patients to improve their quality of life (QOL).
Let’s be frank, end-of-life care can be tricky. Yes, dying is normal, but it hasn’t been a major focus in the acute hospital systems. 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.
With 52% of Australians dying in acute hospitals, end-of-life care is essential knowledge for all health care professionals.
World Hospice and Palliative Care Day is a unified day of action to celebrate and support hospice and palliative care around the world. It is organised by a committee of the Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance. The purpose of this day is:
I remember a patient some years ago. I’ll call her Maria. She was a lovely Italian woman, in her late 80’s, with a very supportive family.
Maria had developed very complex medical problems. She had heart issues, kidney problems and quite severe diabetes. In the last year of her life she had recurring kidney failure and breathing difficulties. She was going in and out of hospital every three or four weeks.
The medical team did their very best for her – they were very focused on her medical issues and her symptoms, and she received excellent medical care. A lot of focus was given to how best to look after her kidneys, her heart, her pain and her difficulty with breathing. As her problems multiplied and her needs became increasingly complex, the care she received continued to be excellent.