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Palliative care can make a difference

The year’s Palliative Care Week (21-28 May) theme is ‘You matter, your care matters. Palliative care can make a difference’.

More than 350,000 Australians are 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 positive as possible, said Murrumbidgee Local Health District’s (MLHD) Palliative Care Stream Manager Keryl Dallinger.

Ms Dallinger said aged care staff are a vital part of palliative care.

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

“Demand for palliative care is increasing. Professionals and volunteers are needed 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,” Ms Dallinger said.

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

In MLHD, palliative care support is available from local care providers such as general practitioners, nursing and allied health teams.

Specialist palliative care services in MLHD are located at Wagga Wagga, Griffith, Deniliquin, Young and Albury.

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

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