May 22
Local Health District marks National Palliative Care Week

The Western NSW Local Health District Palliative Care Service will be holding an event in partnership with the Dubbo Neighbourhood Centre to celebrate the tireless efforts of palliative care workers and volunteers.

Two community education events will be held at the Dubbo Neighbourhood Centre during National Palliative Care Week. The week's theme is 'You matter, your care matters. Palliative care can make a difference'.

These events, to be held on May 29 and June 1, will offer a panel of experts to lead a discussion on what is contemporary palliative care, how is it provided and how advance care planning can help make a difference in people's lives in whatever setting palliative care is provided.

There are more than 350,000 Australians cared for by aged care services, and many of these people will face the end of their lives in aged care facilities. This experience should be as comfortable and as positive as possible.

Alison Dawes, Palliative Care Clinical Nurse Consultant said aged care staff are a vital part of palliative care.

“Aged care services are a key part of ensuring that people cared for by them have a positive end-of-life experience. They are vital in ensuring that there is collaboration between the palliative care sector and their staff," Alison said.

“Demand for palliative care is increasing. Professionals and volunteers also play a vital role and are needed more and more in our community to support patients and carers deal with dying, death and bereavement."

People entering aged care need to be able to talk with their loved ones and health team about their end-of-life wishes and have a plan for when they need palliative care support.

“We encourage everyone to discuss their end-of-life wishes with their loved ones and health care team using the Dying to Talk Discussion Starter. Knowing what is important to you will reduce their burden at a difficult time and ensure you get the care you desire," Alison said.

Around $2.2 million annually is allocated to Western NSW Local Health District for specialist palliative care teams, which includes funding for 27 clinical staff across the region.

The first regional palliative care forum was held in Orange in early May to help the NSW Government tailor a state-wide palliative care strategy.

For more information on National Palliative Care Week please visit http://palliativecare.org.au/national-palliative-care-week/.

Download the Dying to Talk Discussion Starter at www.dyingtotalk.org.au.

You can register for the event by contacting the Palliative Care Service on (02) 6809 6580.

Media enquiries: Brendan Williams, Media Manager, Western NSW Local Health District via brendan.williams@health.nsw.gov.au