Palliative care professionals and volunteers are being called upon to help highlight the value of their work in a new video campaign.
Palliative Care Victoria launched the video campaign, Palliative care, it’s more than you think, on Sunday, the first day of National Palliative Care Week.
The campaign aims to share personal stories from palliative care workers and volunteers in short videos.
Palliative care workers and volunteers are encouraged to film a short video sharing their stories of love, hope, courage, determination, and support to raise awareness about palliative care.
Palliative Care Victoria interim CEO Annie Revell said the campaign was an opportunity to celebrate the stories from the people involved in palliative care.
“It really is a beautiful opportunity just to share and celebrate the stories that actually exist across the sector,” Ms Revell told Australian Ageing Agenda.
“Unless you’re connected with palliative care in the sector, or you’ve had somebody who needs to get the care and the support of the palliative care teams, you don’t realise what is involved,” she said.
“Many people think palliative care is just delivered in the last three weeks of somebody’s life, or potentially if you start using those words, it means the end is near and everyone is fairly reluctant to have those conversations and consider what that could mean. And it is so much more than that,” Ms Revell said.
A palliative care volunteer who took a client to eat ice cream and listen to Gilbert and Sullivan near the seaside is among stories shared so far, Ms Revell said.
Ms Revell said she hopes the campaign will raise awareness about the importance of palliative care and the workers in the sector.
“Everyone knows what a paramedic does, everyone knows how fabulous our fireys are and it’s time to celebrate how fabulous our palliative care workers are as well,” Ms Revell said.
Volunteers and palliative care workers can get involved my filming a short video explaining how palliative care is different than what people think using their own personal experience.
Funding boost for palliative care in aged care
Elsewhere during National Palliative Care Week, the Federal Government has announced it will provide $57.2 million to improve palliative care in aged care facilities in a deal that requires the states and territories to match funding provided by the commonwealth.
The Commonwealth has so far committed $3.8 million to South Australia, $900,000 to the Australian Capital Territory, $5.7 million to Western Australia and $400,000 to the Northern Territory under signed agreements with those governments.
Minister for Aged Care Richard Colbeck said the funding would help reduce emotional and physical distress for residents nearing end of life and their families.
“This funding will help reinforce the measures in place provide a high level of care during what can be a tremendously difficult time,” he said.
In principal agreements are in place for the remaining states.
Supporting people to live their best life
Also in Victoria, aged care provider Bolton Clarke is working with Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network on a 12-month project to support people at end of life to remain at home.
The Enhanced Palliative Care at Home project promotes links between generalist community nurses, specialised palliative care teams and other health providers.
QUT is urging for people working in aged care and health settings, university students and registered training organisations to make use of its free palliative care educational resources designed specifically to skill, and upskill health workers, including clinicians working in all disciplines.
On Monday, Australian Medical Association president Dr Tony Bartone took time out to recognise the importance of palliative care workers and thank them for the service.
“Palliative care workers are there, caring for patients with respect and compassion, and doing their best to support families,” Dr Bartone said.
“Palliative care can help people with life-limiting illnesses to live as well as possible, for as long as possible, by managing pain and symptoms to ensure quality of life is maintained,” he said.
Joint patrons of Palliative Care Australia, the Governor-General David Hurley and Linda Hurley officially launched National Palliative Care Week 2020 on Sunday during a video broadcast.
National Palliative Care Week runs from 24 – 30 May.