National Palliative Care Week
(22-27 May 2016)
The Far West Local Health District is supporting National Palliative Care Week (22-27 May, 2016) with the theme this year being “Living Well with Chronic Illness”.
National Palliative Care Week activities are aimed at those people living with advanced chronic illness, which can include but is not limited to advanced heart, lung, kidney disease or neurological disorders, or even some chronic types of cancers.
People with advanced, progressive chronic illness require increasing support as their condition changes or deteriorates. Part of this support is about encouraging the person with a chronic illness to have a conversation with their loved ones and their treating doctor about their values and wishes in regard to treatment if they are unable to speak for themselves. This is called Advance Care Planning.
On Wednesday, 25 May, the Broken Hill Chronic Care Team and the Palliative Care Team will jointly hold an information stall at Westside Plaza from 9.30am until 2.30pm. People living with a chronic illness and/or their carers are invited to come and speak to the nurses about their condition and get some information about Advance Care Planning.
On Thursday 26 May, the Dareton Palliative Care Team and Primary Health Care Team will be holding a similar information stall at Dareton Primary Health Care Centre at 44-46 Tapio St, Dareton from 9am-12 midday.
“Essentially, Palliative Care is about enabling people who have a life limiting illness or advanced chronic illness to live as comfortably as they can through prevention and relief of suffering by early identification, assessment and treatment of symptoms, be they physical, psychosocial or spiritual”, said Ms Melissa Cumming, Director Cancer and Palliative Care Services for Far West LHD.
“Unfortunately, in our society, we are not very comfortable talking about topics that are about us getting sick or eventually dying. We are very happy to prepare a will to sort out our financial affairs, but we find it more difficult making a plan for our health care for when we get sick. Most people have things they what to talk about, and we want to ensure that the care the patient and family receive is in keeping with their wishes.”
Ms Cumming said: “In Broken Hill, we are fortunate to have a Specialist Palliative Care team who work closely with our Chronic Care Nurses, the Allied Health team and the patient’s GP in order to provide the patient and their family with best quality care.”
The Broken Hill Palliative Care Team or Chronic Care Team can be contacted on 8080 1333. The Dareton Palliative Care Team can be contacted on 03 5021 7200.