Let's chat about dying...

THE Northern Rivers' Palliative Care Community is using National Palliative Care Week as an opportunity to encourage the local community to have a conversation with their loved ones and health professionals about their needs and wishes for the end of life.

Joanne Cooper, clinical nurse consultant, with Community Palliative Care said it was important that people think about the care and support they would like to receive at the end of their life.

"This includes things such as the type of care they want, where they would like to be cared for and by whom,' said Ms Cooper.

"Some things are too important to be left unsaid.

"It's also important that their care preferences are recorded, preferably in an advance care plan, and that people share this with their loved ones and the relevant health professionals.

"It's never too early to chat about dying. Encouraging people to have end-of-life conversations ahead of time can help alleviate a lot of stress for families and carers, and avoid situations where they are asked to make decisions about a person's care when they don't know what the person would have wanted."

Palliative Care Australia president, Dr Scott Blackwell, said  palliative care was about living and dying well, and supporting not only the individual, but also their families and carers.

"It's important that everyone knows what care and support is available and how they can receive it, so that we can ensure all Australians receive quality care at the end of their lives," Dr Blackwell said.

A display with further information is being held by the Palliative Care Community nurses at Community Health facilities across the Richmond Valley and the Byron Shire to celebrate National Palliative Care Week.

Palliative Care Community can provide further information on local services and experiences. 

For further comment contact Joanne Cooper at Palliative Care Community on 6620 2292 or visit Palliative Care Australia's website.


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