Campaign urges end-of-life care workers to share their stories

Palliative care professionals and volunteers are being called upon to help highlight the value of their work in a new video campaign.

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.

Annie Revell

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.

Community outreach nurse Leonie explains why palliative care is more than what we think for Palliative Care Victoria’s video campaign.

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.

Find out more and get involved here and watch the videos here.

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.

Richard Colbeck

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.

Dr Tony Bartone

“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.

Access QUT’s palliative care resources here and here.

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Tags: ama, annie revell, australian-medical-association, bolton-clarke, david hurley, dr tony bartone, end-of-life-care, enhanced palliative care at home, linda hurley, national-palliative-care-week, palliative care, palliative-care-australia, palliative-care-victoria, qut, Richard Colbeck,

1 thought on “Campaign urges end-of-life care workers to share their stories

  1. Let’s start with the basics: early recognition of the signs of end of life and timely communication with family members. COVID-19 has heightened awareness of the importance of communication with family members who are unable to visit loved ones in residential aged care, or have restricted access.
    I have a parent with moderate to advanced dementia who has experienced a marked decline in recent months. My parent is losing the strength to stand, dozes off continually, speaks a few words with encouragment and does not fully open their eyes. Yet I am the one broaching the conversation about approaching end of life. That’s a bit sad.

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