Palliative Care Week

National Palliative Care Week (NPCW) 2023 is running this week to raise awareness about palliative care and put ‘Matters of Life and Death’ front and centre in Australia’s consciousness.

The personal stories that are shared during National Palliative Care Week will open the door on the full scope and impact of palliative care and the quality of life it delivers.

Bellarine Community Health has a dedicated team, including a Nurse Practitioner, who support clients on the Bellarine through their health journey and ultimately to die in their place of choice.

They also provide incredible support to the family and loved ones of their clients.

During this palliative care week, we are sharing a story of one family’s journey. This story is shared with permission.

Thank you, BCH – your community nursing and palliative care is exceptional!

I cannot speak more highly of the services of the community nursing and palliative care team from Bellarine Community Health (BCH).

Some of you will have known my beautiful mother, Joyce Connell who died in December 2022. Mum’s death was preceded by dad’s (Jim Connell) in 2019. Both lived in the Borough for nearly 30 years and in their last few years with my husband and I in Point Lonsdale. Both aged and died at home as they had wanted, cared for by us and surrounded by love and friendship.

The process of dying as you may know is confronting, humbling and emotional for everyone – 24-hour care is required as illness and disease progress and life and independence deteriorate. The same team from BCH cared for both my parents, providing wonderful care, delivered with respect and compassion. They also provided information, education and emotional support as my parent’s journey progressed – informing decisions and responding to changing care needs.

Their care was provided no matter the day of the week or time. Often the nights and weekends are when you feel most alone when caring for a dying person – when distress can be the most confronting – and they were there. The after-hours nurse, then the ‘on call’ nurse from the team were there quickly on the phone or in person. This meant we were not alone, and care needs were met.

I cannot express adequately my gratitude for the wonderful support from the BCH community nursing and palliative care practitioners who supported my parents last weeks. Also, the Personal Carers from the Borough. We could not have cared for my parents at home without all their support. Thank you to each of them!

Jeanette Kinahan

BCH is also running a free screening of the documentary called ‘Live the life you please’, a powerful film produced by Moonshine Agency. The film delves into the stories of real people from across the country, including several from the Geelong region, sharing their personal experiences of palliative care. This screening is invitation only.

For more information and access to a range of useful resources check Palliative Care Australia’s website by clicking HERE. 

For more information on BCH Palliative Care services click HERE.

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