Palliative care thanks
Thank you to the Bendigo Advertiser for your support of the palliative care team you featured in Saturday's newspaper (June 29).
I know I speak for many clients of this project in saying thank you to Bendigo Health and the government for recognising the importance of this wonderful scheme, and thank you to the team, lead by Dr 'Buddy' whose research over 18 months proved how important this support has been to so many families.
When my husband Rob was given a diagnosis of inoperable, incurable pancreatic cancer we were basically on our own, until we were placed in the care of Dr Buddy and his team.
From that moment on we were supported and surrounded by a totally professional team and for the next five months they were by our side as Rob's health declined.
I cannot speak highly enough of the care and wise counsel they gave us in those five months. We were never alone.
Someone from the team was always available to advise and support Rob and I as we shared that final difficult journey together.
A great deal of supportive evidence needed to be presented to prove the value of this team approach to palliative care, and I know that the dedication of that whole team was able to prove its worth.
We are all the lucky recipients of the research that has been put into the project as this team's approach to palliative care will now be ongoing.
My congratulations to Dr Buddy, Cathie, Les, Ashley, Lucy and Mel. You all played a part in the success of this project.
Annie Young, Junortoun
Read more: Palliative care at home program to grow
Right resources vital
It is great news that Bendigo palliative care at home services will be permanently funded by the state government following a successful pilot program (Bendigo Advertiser 26/6).
I am, however, hoping that the ongoing palliative care service will be adequately resourced and able to offer real patient-centred options for those terminally ill people who do not wish to die at home.
My beautiful 73 year old mother died from bowel cancer on February 18th, 2018. Her battle was a long and arduous one, but she faced it with amazing dignity and resourcefulness.
Her eventual passing was comfortable and peaceful, with my dad, her beloved husband, right by her side. She received excellent nursing care in the last month of her life from a team of compassionate, dedicated professionals with the skills necessary to accommodate the needs of a grieving family.
It was, in the end, a small triumph of humanity. My mother had very well considered reasons for choosing to die in a hospice setting, and her wishes were not respected by a palliative services model of care with an obvious bias towards dying at home.
Expertly staffed hospice and respite services must remain an important part of the overall palliative care service model if the end-of-life wishes and needs of all patients and their families are to be respected and met.Michelle Goldsmith, Eaglehawk
She and my dad were left to struggle without adequate guidance and support from a skeleton palliative care team, as my mother had the misfortune to be dying over the Christmas/New Year period.
Nurses, doctors, occupational therapists and personal care attendants were on holiday and unable to provide, in a timely manner, the home assessment and modifications necessary for Mum to be safely cared for at home. Yet an expectation that she accept dying at home and my father, also a cancer patient, accept responsibility for her round-the-clock care was very evident.
Thanks to my three decades as a registered nurse I am completely aware of the fact that an overwhelming majority of terminally ill people wish to die at home.
There is often, however, an ominous chasm between the expectations and the reality of managing all the physical needs of the dying person in a home setting, and the emotional and psychological impact the dying process of a loved one can have on family members.
Expertly staffed hospice and respite services must remain an important part of the overall palliative care service model if the end-of-life wishes and needs of all patients and their families are to be respected and met.
Michelle Goldsmith, Eaglehawk
Fun runs are great exercise
Organisers made the difficult decision of cancelling the [Bendigo] fun run, with safety their number one priority. There is, however, a safety concern in not running.
An important study published in last week's British Medical Journal followed thousands of adults (age range 40-79) for over 12 years, and found their risk of dying was considerably reduced by exercising regularly.
- There would have been 24 per cent more deaths if all the people were inactive;'
- That 93 per cent of the deaths associated with physical inactivity could be prevented by meeting current exercise guidelines (moderate intensity, like brisk walking, for 150 minutes a week).
- There was still measurable benefit from lesser levels of exercise and greater benefit from more intensive activity;
- Heart (cardiovascular) and cancer deaths were preventable;
- Beneficial effects were common in all groups, including the overweight and obese, and those that already had heart disease or cancer.
Public fun runs are a great way to get people active, and active people tend to live longer and healthier lives. Risk of terrorism is accepted, but competing risks also need considering.
Gary Russell, Bendigo
In response to John Armstrong's letter ('Kings Bridge' credit) of June 29 in your paper regarding the placing of a plaque on the bridge at Golden Square.
The authorities charged with issuing such plaques are usually in the habit of only stating the truthful facts on plaques around our city, and to do as he requests for the Golden Square Bridge would be an act of great deviation from this.
If Mr Armstrong was to follow the creek through the city and once he arrived at the gasworks in Weeroona Ave he was to have a look at that bridge, he would find a nice plaque on it stating all the facts that he thinks relate to the Golden Square Bridge.
Tony Osborne, Strathdale
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