Palliative Care Week

This week we celebrate National Palliative Care Week (NPCW). It marks the nation’s largest annual initiative aimed at deepening people’s understanding of palliative care and encouraging action around end-of-life planning.

Bellarine Community Health is one of many service providers experiencing a growing demand for palliative care support and in particular, support for people who want to die in their own homes.

Research points to a 50 per cent growth in demand across Australia over the past decade and that shows the urgent need to proactively address the growing needs of our community.

“Funding for palliative care is based on population, however the population data in the model has not been updated since 2017,” said BCH Acting CEO Kathy Russell.

Palliative care is collaboration. It requires regular discussions with a wide range of professionals, including GP’s, generalist community nurses, allied health workers, pharmacists, after-hours-medical services, ambulance services, hospital staff, DVA providers, NDIS providers, aged care package providers, interpreters, and many others.

The nature of death and dying can be unpredictable, but it need not be frightening. Our team is there to help our patients and their families to know what to expect and how to manage.

“The rewards of palliative care nursing are substantial, encompassing the deep human connection with patients and their families, building trust-based relationships, maintaining realistic hope, respecting patient choices, alleviating or improving symptoms, and providing the privilege of being present with someone in their final moments,” said BCH Palliative Care Nurse Victoria Durbidge.

The BCH team offer a listening ear, emotional support during times of loneliness or fear, and support for families through their grief.

This year’s palliative care campaign highlights the holistic nature of palliative care that should be available to all Australians. It is also launching a new symbol for the palliative care sector – the ‘Orange Heart’.

The ‘Orange Heart’ has been seen and used universally as a symbol of care and friendship, which connects strongly with the values of palliative care.

If you need support or want to talk to Bellarine Community Health about palliative care, please call 1800 007 224. You can also find out more about our palliative care services HERE.

Donations to support the Bellarine Community Health palliative care team are greatly appreciated. Click HERE to donate.

Click HERE for the Palliative Care Australia website.

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