From Palliative Care Australia Stories about living, dying and Palliative Care
26 August 2016
Relieving her uncle’s symptoms with massage in the lead-up to his death helped Nicolette Powell realise her true calling. Now an enthusiastic palliative care massage therapist, she shares some of the challenges and great rewards she has experienced along the way.
4 July 2016
After the death of her husband Noel, Bernadette Gallagher started working as a volunteer to support patients receiving palliative care and their families. Recently awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM), she gives a moving insight into the impact Noel’s death had on their four young children, and how that experience equipped her to support others.
1 June 2016
Speech pathologist Laura Chahda recalls the rewards of supporting a woman who had motor neurone disease so she could keep communicating with her family as her symptoms progressed. Laura says many people don’t realise that speech pathologists are also swallowing specialists. Their work can help prevent choking and aspiration pneumonia, and improve hydration, nutrition and quality of life.
16 February 2016
Clinical nurse educator Anne May says abusive behaviour can occur in any palliative care setting. While stress might spark one-off incidents of poor behaviour, chronic abuse is too often dismissed as being part of a grief reaction.
29 January 2016
Julianne Whyte is focused on better meeting the emotional needs of people who are living with the prospect of dying. She says too often we focus discussion on practical and clinical issues, at the expense of psychological and existential needs.
4 December 2015
Back in the early 1980s, when stigma and fear clouded HIV and AIDS, Mike Kennedy volunteered to care for an infected man who wanted to die in his own home. Mr Kennedy didn’t realise it at the time, but he was participating in a land-mark community-based palliative care service. On the eve of International Volunteer Day, his experience offers valuable lessons still.
23 November 2015
Bilingual educator Tatiana Slezak ran education sessions about palliative care for people whose first language is Polish. She explains how culture can impact perceptions of palliative care and what helps people from non-English speaking backgrounds to learn about it.
4 November 2015
Meet Karen Conte, who has learned many things about life during her 30-year palliative care career. She has supported hundreds of people as they were dying, both in hospital and community settings. It has taught her not to sweat the small stuff.
- Frail elderly put new pressure on prisons to provide palliative care
- One third of elderly patients receive futile treatment before they die
- Symbolic works created with ink-filled syringe capture life and offer therapy
- The most intimate thing I’ve done in my life: Kylie’s story
- Vicarious trauma: a young nurse shares her experience