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From Palliative Care Australia Palliative Matters Stories about living, dying and Palliative Care

10 minutes

  1. Palliative care doctor shares highlights of working in Broken Hill

    6 September 2016

    Meet Dr Sarah Wenham, a specialist palliative care physician based in Broken Hill, NSW. She serves 32,000 people across a 195,000 km² district, which shares borders with Queensland, South Australia and Victoria. Dr Wenham is a keynote speaker at this month’s Palliative Care NSW’s ‘Transforming Our Landscape’ conference.

  2. 10 minutes with Nicolette Powell

    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.

  3. An end-of-life companion: how one volunteer added quality of life right to the end

    4 August 2016

    When Sandra Mugavin, 63, retired from nursing in October last year, she knew she wanted to keep using her skills and be of value to her community. Working as a volunteer for Warrnambool & District Community Hospice, supporting people who want to die at home and their families, has proven just the opportunity she was looking for.

  4. 10 minutes with Bernadette Gallagher

    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.

  5. 10 minutes with Laura Chahda

    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.

  6. 10 minutes with Anne May

    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.

  7. 10 minutes with Julianne Whyte

    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.

  8. 10 minutes with Mike Kennedy

    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.

  9. 10 minutes with Tatiana Slezak

    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.

  10. 10 minutes with Karen Conte

    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.

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