Bendigo Health marks National Palliative Care Week

Financial boost for palliative care services

PALLIATIVE care is about more than death and dying, says Melanie Shanahan.

STAFF: Judy Miatke, Kristy Packham, Joan Loverso, Paul Rumpff, Lesley Robinson, Deanna Keogh, Judy Allen and Leanne Lorenz mark Palliative Care Week with a cake.

STAFF: Judy Miatke, Kristy Packham, Joan Loverso, Paul Rumpff, Lesley Robinson, Deanna Keogh, Judy Allen and Leanne Lorenz mark Palliative Care Week with a cake.

"We actually offer symptom management to people, for anyone who has a life threatening illness," Ms Shanahan said.

"So that can be from very early on in the stage of the illness or towards the end as well.

"People can get breathless, fatigued or have nausea and as part of palliative care we can help out with those sorts of symptoms.

"We do also offer end of life care to help people die in their place of choice.

"Some people chose that they want to die at home, some people would prefer to die in a place like hospice where there's one at Bendigo Health.

"We do what we can to assist them to die where they want to."

Ms Shanahan is Bendigo Health's Integrated Palliative Care Service Program manager.

The Bendigo Health palliative care team is this week participating in National Palliative Care Week which is marked from May 25 to May 31.

This year's theme is Palliative Care is everyone’s business: Let’s work together.

"It's just raising awareness about what palliative care is," Ms Shanahan said.

"For instance, when it comes to places like hospice, it doesn't necessarily mean you go in and you never come out.

"You can actually go in and come out quite a number of times."

Bendigo Health has established an Integrated Palliative Care Service which incorporates community, inpatient and a day support program.

The contribution of 40 volunteer support workers also makes a real and enduring difference to the lives of its clients and carers.

Volunteer support workers offer respite to family caregivers and emotional, spiritual and practical support to clients and carers.

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