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Community palliative care event sheds light on end-of-life care

The Hunter New England and Central Coast Primary Health Network (HNECC PHN) acknowledged National Palliative Care Week last week, hosting a community palliative care event. Almost 80 community members including people with a life-limiting condition, carers, family, friends, service providers and those who wanted to learn more about palliative and end-of-life care options in our region, attended Thursday’s event at Kahibah Sports Club.

Palliative care helps people live as fully and as comfortably as possible following the diagnosis of a life-limiting, chronic or terminal illness. Palliative care is person-centred care to support people’s quality of life as a result of effective pain and symptom management, and holistic assessment of physical, psychological, social, emotional and spiritual needs including support for family and carers.

A spokesperson from the Palliative Care Australia said “Australians have a great attitude to life; we want to bring that same openness and curiosity to how we approach end of life and National Palliative Care Week gives us a chance to explore the thinking and conversations that go with it.”

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Thank you for this morning’s session, it has been fantastic to learn about all the support services available including the grief counselling services. As I am in aged care it was good to hear about the doula and volunteer services as I really had no idea about them. I also found the ACP and Advanced care directives explained again as often come across families who find this a difficult subject to discuss.

Community Participant

The event featured a morning of short presentations from a range of palliative care professionals as well as information trade stalls. A range of topics were covered including:

  • What is Palliative Care? What is End-of-Life Care? Is there a difference?
  • Breaking common misconceptions about Palliative Care
  • The importance of Advance Care Planning
  • Grief and Bereavement Support
  • Carer Support Options
  • Palliative Care services in our region
  • A Carer sharing their story of their palliative care journey

Speakers and stall holders included palliative care and other professionals from a number of organisations including Hunter New England Local Health District, Carers NSW, Palliative Care NSW, BaptistCare NSW/ACT, Services Australia, Hunter Cancer Hub, Beam Services, Death Doula Services the Primary Health Network and more.

Palliative Care Australia launched a landmark survey at the commencement of National Palliative Care Week seeking to identify the challenges, barriers, and successes in delivering or accessing palliative care in a range of health settings. The survey takes about 10 minutes to complete and is for everyone who works or volunteers in any service that provides palliative care in Australia.

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Very positive directions and resources offered in a calm and positive manner.

Community Participant

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