CareSearch Blog: Palliative Perspectives

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.
 

Now there is specialised support and training for Australian GP nurses to provide better care at a very difficult time

A guest blog post by Associate Professor Josephine Clayton, Specialist Physician in Palliative Medicine at HammondCare’s Greenwich Hospital in Sydney, Associate Professor of Palliative Care at the University of Sydney and Director of the Advance Project

  • 2 December 2016
  • Author: CareSearch
  • Number of views: 4135
  • 0 Comments
Now there is specialised support and training for Australian GP nurses to provide better care at a very difficult time
As a young doctor I spent some time working in a palliative care hospital in the early 90’s.  It was such a privilege to be working with people at end of life - with the opportunity to make a difference to quality of life and well-being of patients, and their family members. That experience made me decide to devote my career to Palliative Medicine.
 
I had some experiences at that time that stayed with me.
 
I had a patient, Marion, who had been a school principal. Marion had suffered a severe stroke. She had survived but was very incapacitated, confined to bed and unable to communicate. She was being kept alive, surviving on a feeding tube, and facing a life of care and dependence. Her specialist was very committed to her survival.

 

When the small things become extraordinarily important…

A guest blog post by Dr Deidre Morgan, Occupational Therapy, School of Health Sciences, Flinders University

  • 18 November 2016
  • Author: CareSearch
  • Number of views: 5511
  • 1 Comments
When the small things become extraordinarily important…
When someone has an incurable disease like advanced cancer or motor neurone disease, they experience many changes, one of which is functional decline. Although functional decline is inevitable at the end-of-life, the drive for people to remain as independent as possible is actually heightened at this time. The occupational therapist (OT) has two key roles to play here. Firstly, they play an active role in optimising a person’s independence and participation as function declines. Secondly, by supporting active participation in everyday activities to the best of a person’s ability, the OT can support people to come to terms with bodily deterioration and pending death. I’ll look at these two concepts in more detail.  
 

Lifting weights and spirits!

A guest blog post by Roslyn Savage, Senior Palliative Care Physiotherapist, Sacred Heart Supportive and Palliative Care Service, St Vincent’s Health Network Sydney

  • 11 November 2016
  • Author: CareSearch
  • Number of views: 3971
  • 3 Comments
Lifting weights and spirits!
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). 

 

Learn more on end-of-life care – free and peer reviewed

A guest blog post by Kim Devery, Senior Lecturer and Head of Discipline, Palliative Care, Flinders University

  • 25 October 2016
  • Author: CareSearch
  • Number of views: 3679
  • 0 Comments
Learn more on end-of-life care – free and peer reviewed
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. 

 

Carers and Online Health Information

A guest blog post from Dr Jennifer Tieman, CareSearch Director, Associate Professor, Discipline Palliative and Supportive Services

  • 21 October 2016
  • Author: CareSearch
  • Number of views: 2845
  • 0 Comments
Carers and Online Health Information

National Carers Week provides us all with an opportunity to stop and think about the care that is needed by palliative care patients and that is given by carers to someone with a life limiting illness. Anyone, at any time, can find themselves responsible for the wellbeing of a partner, family member or friend at the end of their life. Most Australians who know they are going to die spend most of the last year of their life in the community – in their own home, in residential aged care or living with family or friends. This would not be possible without the willingness of people to take on a caring role.
 

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About our Blog

The CareSearch blog Palliative Perspectives informs and provides a platform for sharing views, tips and ideas related to palliative care from community members and health professionals. 
 

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