During National Palliative Care Week (NPCW) May 22-28, Central Grampians Palliative Care, which is part of East Grampians Health Service, will celebrate the tireless efforts of palliative care professionals and volunteers.
The theme for 2022 is 'Palliative Care It's your right', which seeks to raise awareness about the rights of all Australians to access high-quality palliative care when and where they need it.
EGHS chief executive Nick Bush said palliative care workers and services have a deep understanding of the difficult situations people near the end of their life or with a life-limiting illness often face.
"They can be instrumental in balancing a variety of perspectives and incorporating the psychological, social, and spiritual concerns of patients, their families and the staff caring for them," he said.
"They are also there to support the loved ones of people near the end of their life and help them live through their grief and bereavement.
"Palliative care is available to people with a serious and life-limiting illness and their families, to assist in managing their symptoms, improve their quality of life and help them to live as well as possible, for as long as possible."
The Central Grampians Palliative Care Team is part of the Grampians Regional Palliative Care Consortium which is an alliance of five health services that provides specialist palliative care in the Grampians region. Specialist palliative care services provide healthcare to people living with a life limiting illness, their families and carers.
The team at Central Grampians Palliative Care comprises six specialist palliative care nurses, supported by specialist palliative care physicians and nurse practitioners operating out of Grampians (Ballarat) Health.
The region covered extends to St Arnaud, Avoca, Beaufort, Lake Bolac, Ararat, Stawell, Halls Gap, Navarre, Skipton, Redbank and surrounds.
Acknowledging that palliative care is a universal human right, this year's theme seeks to broaden the community's perceptions, understanding and appreciation of palliative care, demonstrating its role in supporting the physical, emotional, spiritual and social needs of people living with a life-limiting illness, their families and their care team.
NPCW is Australia's largest annual awareness-raising initiative to increase understanding of the many benefits of palliative care; that with adequate access to timely palliative care, people with a life-limiting illness are able to keep doing what they love with friends and family.
Each year NPCW is also an opportunity to highlight and celebrate the work of not only hundreds of palliative care specialists and palliative care nurses, but also the support provided by general practitioners, volunteers, allied health professionals, community workers and everyone who works within the palliative care sector.
Palliative care is active care, it anticipates problems that might arise and aims to minimize the impact of progressing illness so that the person can live life to the fullest.
COVID-19 has had a huge impact upon the delivery of service to patients receiving care within the community with restrictions to face to face reviews over the last two years.
This presented great challenges to the provision of care in the home, however, 2022 has seen some easing of these restrictions but the utilisation of Telehealth reviews is now providing benefits to patient care delivery.
Central Grampians Palliative care is also working towards the introduction of a new patient management system (PalCare) to improve delivery of care. This program will also enable improved after hours support for other families and carers.
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