National Palliative Care Week runs from Sunday 24th – Saturday 30th May 2015. The Broken Hill Palliative Care Team will be available in the Broken Hill Hospital foyer from 8.30am-12.30pm on Wednesday 27th May for the general public to ask questions or talk to someone “one on one” about death and dying.
This year’s theme for Palliative Care Week is ‘Dying to talk; talking about dying won’t kill you”. Australians do not like to talk about death and dying, but during National Palliative Care Week, Palliative Care Australia (PCA) is encouraging Australians to break the last taboo and talk about dying.
Melissa Cumming, Director Palliative Care for the Far West Local Health District said it’s important to normalise discussions about death and dying.
“We encourage people to talk to their families about their values and wishes as they approach the end of life, or if they were unable to speak for themselves,” she said.
“Death happens to us all and to have our end of life wishes met, we need to talk about what we want with our family”.
Some topics people might like to think about and talk with the Palliative Care Team are:
- How do you want to be cared for?
- What values are important to you?
- Have you established a medical power of attorney / Enduring Guardian?
- Have you talked to your family about your wishes?
- Would your family know what you want if you couldn’t speak for yourself?
- What do you want when you die?
- Where would you prefer to be when you die?
“Palliative care is more than just care at the end of life. It is about focusing on quality of life when cure is no longer possible, and enabling people to live as comfortably as then can,” Ms Cumming said.
“However, caring for people in the very last stages of their life is a very important part of what we do as well”.
National Palliative Care Week is a good time to take a moment to think and talk about dying; about what your wishes are and how you want to be cared for to live well. “Come and talk to the team on Wednesday May 27. There are no silly questions, and we encourage people to bring your family member with you if that helps,” Ms Cumming said.