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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.
Susan Gravier and Paul Tait from CareSearch and Southern Adelaide Palliative Services discuss the newly revised Symptoms and Medicines pages in the palliAGED Practice Centre and how this information and resources can help nurse practitioners and general practitioners in symptom management of older Australians in their last days of life.
Palliative care is increasingly mentioned in mainstream and professional media releases and reports, particularly those related to aged care and cancer, but it is often misrepresented or mentioned only in passing. Dr Katrina Erny-Albrecht from CareSearch explains what palliative care is and why it matters from a researcher perspective.
As demand for palliative care services increases, so too the need for relevant and quality education. Dr Katrina Erny-Albrecht discusses how CareSearch supports health professionals and consumers access up-to-date information on palliative care education by providing a single point of entry to a broad range of courses, continuing professional development, and online and community learning.
Have you ever tried to broach the topic of end-of-life wishes with a loved one and been met with stunned silence? People often report this kind of experience, and research indicates that many people are uncomfortable with discussing death and dying. This leaves many Australians unprepared for death and the decisions that need to be made when a person is dying. Dr Lauren Miller-Lewis discusses the importance of bringing conversations about death to life through online learning.
The 2017 MOOC global contributions saw a definite desire from people to reclaim dying and death - to be more personally involved in processes which are the natural progressions in life. There was a great sense of 'community' in the need for more knowledge about death, about illness and preparing for death.
Personally for me it drove home the great yawning chasm of a need to educate our health care professionals - to cut out the 'doctor speak' and learn how to talk about dying and death with patients and family. We need trailblazing medicos, astute advanced care planners and guidelines as more and more people wish to be able to die at home. We need a powerful innovative palliative care structure to facilitate people's needs to ensure comfort and safety at end of life.