Palliative Care Week in the South West

South West Queensland residents are being urged to document their future health care plans as part of Palliative Care Week which kicks off from this Sunday… (20 to 26 May).

Elizabeth Schuh 1 (002)

South West Hospital and Health Service Cancer and Palliative Care Services Nurse Unit Manager Elizabeth Schuh.

This year’s theme is ‘What Matters Most?’ which asks Australians to reflect on what would be most important to them if they became seriously unwell.

South West Hospital and Health Service Cancer and Palliative Care Services Nurse Unit Manager Elizabeth Schuh says it’s important people completed statements of choices, enduring powers of attorney and advanced health directives.

“It’s important that the treatment and care you are offered in the future is what you wish for because there may be a time when you cannot express these wishes for yourself.”

“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.”

Miss Schuh says the Productivity Commission’s recent report into human services found between 80,000 and 140,000 of the 160,000 people who die each year in Australia could benefit from high-quality end-of-life care.

“Discussions around death and dying are starting to become more familiar and 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.’’

The South West HHS’s palliative care service team can provide support, information and advice.

“We have a palliative care clinical nurse in each of the Roma, St George and Charleville hospitals, led by a clinical nurse consultant at Roma, and they deliver a service right across the region.’’

National Palliative Care Week in the South West will be marked at a special event to be held at the Roma Library from 10 am on Monday, 21 May, and other events will be held across the regions.

“Please contact your local hospital to find out when an event is happening in your community.’’

Miss Schuh says with demand for palliative care increasing, the need for volunteers always grows.
For more information on National Palliative Care Week visit:

http://palliativecare.org.au/national-palliative-care-week/

The Dying to Talk Discussion Starter is available at:
www.dyingtotalk.org.au