Caring for our family and elders and our community on their journey to finishing up is an important role for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Like everything else in our lives, everything works better when we come together! There is strength in numbers. The time spent together during this journey bonds us and is an important time to address our concerns and worries.
There is useful information about caring for your loved ones and community while they are on their palliative care journey. There is information on support that carers can need as well.
They told us in the city hospital that there was nothing more they could do. We wanted to bring him home and they transferred him to the local hospital… I took him home for about three months with help from palliative nurses… they gave me a bed in the hospital in the room with him so in the last—you know, we’d been together - 43 years we were,
A family member’s story of caring.
Source: Kelly J, Dwyer J, Mackean T, Willis E, O’Donnell K, Battersby M, et al. Managing Two Worlds Together: Study 3 - The Experiences of Patients and Their Carers (902kb pdf). Melbourne: The Lowitja Institute; 2011. Page 35.
I got a lot of help up here with palliative care and all of that, which I didn’t know about
A carer in a rural area recalls palliative care assistance provided by local Aboriginal Health Services and Community Health services.
Source: Kelly J, Dwyer J, Mackean T, Willis E, O’Donnell K, Battersby M, et al. Managing Two Worlds Together: Study 3 - The Experiences of Patients and Their Carers (902kb pdf). Melbourne: The Lowitja Institute; 2011. Page 30.
Mary was offered further chemotherapy treatment but she stated that she wanted to discuss the issues with her family at home. It was important that the family hear the story themselves. A teleconference was arranged and an interpreter was booked. The teleconference included family and clinic staff back at her community as well as Palliative Care team members... During the teleconference Mary’s prognosis, disease progress and treatment options were carefully explained to the family. It was stated that the treatment would not eliminate the disease but would possibly slow down the progress. Mary and her family decided that she did not want to have any more chemotherapy treatment. She said that she was homesick and wanted to return home to be with her family. It was agreed that arrangements be made for Mary to travel home as soon as possible... Mary made it home and passed away peacefully surrounded by family and community members 2 weeks later.
Clinical Nurse Manager of Hospice and Palliative Care Case Story of 'Mary'.
Source: Murphy S. Case Story. CareSearch Nurses Hub News (193kb pdf). November 2016.
Last updated 25 September 2023