News

There’s more to palliative care than you might think

By David Rak

Two Seymour Health nurses have joined the campaign to help create awareness and education about the importance of palliative care.

Palliative Care Victoria aims to celebrate palliative care workers with the ‘Palliative care, it’s more than you think’ campaign as part of National Palliative Care Week.

Seymour Health clinical nurse specialists Paula Sutherland and Racheal De Caneva took part in a video aiming to highlight the many ways palliative care helps people.

Paula has been involved in palliative care for two years and said the message of palliative care being more than people thought was very accurate.

“A lot of people think palliative care means you are going to die very soon, but what used to be seen as palliative care is now what we would refer to as the terminal phase, the last few days of someone’s life,” she said.

“The aim of palliative care is to get involved at a time when the treatment goal shifts from managing disease and prolonging life towards maintaining quality of life.

“It’s about building rapport and supporting patients and carers to feel more at ease navigating the unknown.”

Paula said she enjoyed palliative care because of the privilege of helping to manage someone’s symptoms and improving their quality of life.

“My passion is to assist people through education, planning and support to be able to die in their preferred place,” she said.

“If people choose to die at home, empowering their carers is paramount to them achieving their goal.

“It is refreshing to see how connected people are at these times and how well partners intuitively know what their loved one needs.

“Being in a rural area, the key to people being able to die at home is their support network.

“I feel honoured and find solace in the fact that we were able to assist families in achieving their final wishes. I am part of a great team who are very supportive of each other.”

Palliative Care Victoria interim chief executive Annie Revell said the aim of sharing these stories was to highlight the importance of palliative care in the community, while also promoting the meaningful ways in which palliative care changes people’s lives.

“Palliative care is all about helping people live, die and grieve well. Day in and day out, amazing teams and people in many different roles across our state work to do this,” she said.

“By highlighting the stories and experiences of those who work and volunteer in the palliative care sector, we hope to help the wider community understand the importance of palliative care and how it really is so much more than what many people may think.”

Palliative care workers and volunteers are invited to join the campaign.

All videos will be available to view on the Palliative Care Victoria YouTube page, with select videos on the Palliative Care Victoria Facebook page.

The video is also available on the new Seymour Health Facebook page.

For more information and to get involved, visit pallcarevic.asn.au/nationalpalliative-care-week-2020-its-more-than-you-think