Take time to find out about palliative care

Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
Clinical Hospice Manager Fiona Jane with patient Noel Brown.
Camera IconClinical Hospice Manager Fiona Jane with patient Noel Brown. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser;

Albany Community Hospice wants the public to learn about the benefits of palliative care and early referrals during National Palliative Care Week.

The theme for this year is “Palliative Care ... It’s more than you think”.

For the region’s major end-of-life care facility, the national week is an opportunity to raise awareness about its services and to dispel fears associated with the subject.

“Often people react very strongly and fearfully and believe that they have no further options for treatment when nothing could be further from the truth,” clinical hospice manager Fiona Jane said.

“Actually having palliative care improves your quality of life and the quantity of your remaining life. That is by providing expert system management ... we assess what the individual’s needs might be and provide and adjust medication, extra support, linking to financial assistance and listen to the person’s psychosocial and spiritual needs.

“What we know is that an early referral to palliative care for someone with a life-limiting chronic illness that is no longer responding to active treatment, that improves the quality and even the length of life left.”

Ms Jane said they viewed dying as a natural part of life.

“For us it is very important that we actually embrace death and dying as an integral part of life,” she said.

Ms Jane said people should be able to experience death with grace in a manner and a place of their choice.

Although COVID-19 restricted access to the hospice, those limits have eased.

Visiting hours are 10am-1pm and 4-7pm, with the possibility for extra hours for compassionate reasons. Palliative Care Week is on until tomorrow.

Visit palliativecare.org.au.

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