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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.
Every six seconds, one person with diabetes dies. Professor Trisha Dunning from Deakin University discusses the importance of end of life care for people with diabetes, and of talking about and normalising death.
Staff at the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner have been listening to the stories of those dying in aged care since we first began on 1 January 2016. These stories help us to understand the needs of dying people and their families, and to work with service providers to ensure that their palliative care improves. Jan McGregor, Director at Aged Care Complaints Commissioner’s Clinical Unit discusses the most difficult complaints to resolve are those where there has been a breakdown in communication between the service and the family and the importance of communication in palliative care.
In spring each year, postgraduate students from all around Australia leave family and work responsibilities to spend 2 intensive days at Flinders University in Adelaide. These professionals come to interact with peers and facilitators to learn more about communication at the end of life, the topic covered as core in all of our courses.
Communication, the cornerstone of excellent end-of-life care, is that delicate skill that can flourish in the fertile environment of mindful practice and supportive critique.
The CareSearch team hosted a MOOC on death and dying (Dying2Learn) in 2016 with over 1,000 participants from 18 countries. The aim of the MOOC was to explore community attitudes in relation to death as a normal part of life, and to open conversations around death and dying. In week one participants were asked to look at language, and to ‘think of alternative words (or euphemisms) that are used to describe death’. We were surprised when we saw 471 participants providing 3,053 alternative words and posting blogs about language.