Palliative care really is more than you would imagine. It can help people with life-limiting illnesses to live as well as possible, for as long as possible – supporting their physical, emotional, spiritual and social needs.
Today is the launch of National Palliative Care Week with the theme for 2020, “Palliative Care… It’s more than you think”.
During the week, Wimmera Health Care Group is encouraging individuals to spark important conversations in the community about the benefits of quality palliative care and celebrate the amazing dedication of all those working in palliative care across Australia. There’s more than you think! Wimmera Palliative Care services the local government areas of Yarriambiack, Hindmarsh, West Wimmera and the Rural City of Horsham and District – a total of 37,000 square kilometres.
The community palliative care service supports patients at home, in aged care facilities and while in hospital. The team includes WHCG nurse practitioner Maire Coffey and registered nurses Jenny Ellis, Sharyn Meyer, Zoe Frew, Jody Membrey and Catherine Finlay. Ms Coffey said the team had altered its service delivery due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“We’ve been unable to review patients in other facilities for hospitals and only through urgent visits at home,” she said.
“To do this we have had the benefit of Sharyn Cook and Nicole Miller joining our team to ensure we can still support as many people as possible.”
Palliative Care is about:
* Treating symptoms and making patients comfortable when cure is not possible or is unlikely.
* Supporting patients to have the best quality of life possible.
* Supporting family and carers during the patient's illness and during bereavement if required.
* Helping with not just the physical problems, but the emotional, spiritual, and social issues that may happen as a result of illness.
The Wimmera Palliative Care team works with the patient's local doctors, nurses and allied health care team to provide care. They can also coordinate specialist consultation for patients with the palliative care doctors and nurse practitioners from Grampians Regional Palliative Care Team.
Palliative care nurse Sharyn Meyer said the team was using the week to reflect on the ever changing role they fulfilled while caring for their community.
“We are often humbled by the privilege we have when families open up their lives and allow us to be involved at such a personal and challenging time,” Ms Meyer said.
“We find ourselves constantly amazed at the resilience of patients, families and carers as they navigate through one of the most difficult times in their lives.
“We hope people will consider Palliative Care being not only about death, but living as well as you can with a terminal illness.”