Despite the increasing prevalence of chronic illnesses and focus on quality of life, the need for high quality, innovative and multidisciplinary (involving all health care professionals including doctors, nurses, allied health etc.) palliative care in Australia is more important than ever.
National Palliative Care Week is an awareness raising week organised by Palliative Care Australia (PCA) supported the Department of Health to raise awareness and understanding about palliative care in the Australian community. We would also like to take this opportunity to offer our support for this cause.
What is palliative care?
For those who doesn't know, PCA defines palliative care as the "care that helps people live their life as fully and as comfortably as possible when living with a life-limiting or terminal illness.
Palliative care identifies and treats symptoms which may be physical, emotional, spiritual or social. Because palliative care is based on individual needs, the services offered will differ but may include:
Relief of pain and other symptoms e.g. vomiting, shortness of breath
Resources such as equipment needed to aid care at home
Assistance for families to come together to talk about sensitive issues
Links to other services such as home help and financial support
Support for people to meet cultural obligations
Support for emotional, social and spiritual concerns
Counselling and grief support
Referrals to respite care services
Palliative care is a family-centred model of care, meaning that family and carers can receive practical and emotional support."
Palliative and Mindfulness
We believe mindfulness has a role to play and can be integrated into palliative care for patients, families and friends. Our Resources section contains useful guides and practices to help them, including:
Freeing yourself from destructive thought habits, which aims to identify and manage spiraling destructive thoughts a patient or family/ friend may have during such challenging times, so they can spent more time doing and thinking about things that actually matter to them
Pleasant moments calendar, which will help patients or family/ friends to refocus on the positives things in life - just like the poster of being able to go on a holiday with his wife
The Mindful check-in, which will help everyone to-come-in-term-with their mind and thoughts throughout this emotional "roller coaster" ride. This way, they can shift back to the present and focus on their loved ones and things they love
Audio soundtracks to help everyone to begin their mindfulness journey.
We hope our efforts can make a small difference in palliative care. Please feel free to share this with those you know who may benefit. We know this may just be another thing on their already information overflown mind, but we do believe this can help.
Please contact us if you have any questions about our mindfulness approach or training.
Click here to find out more about National Palliative Care week including how to promote their campaign.