Dr Sarah Winch remembers clearly the day she promised her husband Lincoln that she would write a book. It was a Thursday morning. Two days later he was dead. Lincoln, 48, had kidney cancer, and with his diagnosis came Dr Winch’s new role as his primary carer. During National Carers Week, Dr Winch shares the highs and lows, and lessons that have stayed with her from that time.
Having worked as a nurse in a hospital emergency department, Melissa Millar has seen first-hand the trauma that can occur when someone who is dying an expected death is put in an ambulance. It’s something she is keen to avoid in her new role at a Sydney aged care facility.
Who is the best person to care for someone who has died? Sometimes, a person who loved them when they were living. Dr Fiona Reid shares her experience caring for her husband Morgan throughout his illness and in the days after his death.
New funding announced in last night’s Federal Budget will enable families to spend more quality time with loved ones who are terminally ill, and less trying to navigate the health system, Palliative Care Australia anticipates.
Brian Chaffer was 84 and he knew he was dying. He didn’t want to die in hospital. He wanted to die at his home of 12 years. But his retirement village wasn’t set up to care for a man with complex pain as he entered the last weeks of his life. A compromise was achieved, thanks to a visiting palliative care nurse.
For some people, the idea of caring for a loved-one’s body in the lead-up to burial or cremation is hugely confronting. For others, it is a natural extension of the caring they have provided in the lead-up to their loved one’s death.
A co-founder of the Natural Death Advocacy Network, Libby Moloney, offers practical insight into what is involved in preparing a body for burial and what options there are to engaging the services of a funeral director.
The deep bonds that are formed between carers and those supporting them can last for years into bereavement. So is important for carers to accept all offers of help, even when they think they don’t need it, according to renowned expert in building compassionate communities, Dr Julian Abel.
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.