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Showing posts tagged with 'End of Life care'

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Advance Care Planning Week

This National Advance Care Planning Week we are encouraging people in our region, regardless of your age and health status, to start conversations with loved ones about what you want at the end of your life.

Almost 50% of people will not be able to make their own end‐of‐life medical decisions, yet less than 15% of Australians have documented their preferences in an Advance Care Directive.

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Supporting Older People's Health in our Community  

This week is the NSW Seniors Festival and the chance to celebrate the unique contribution older people make to our community. 

As a PHN, we are committed to doing our part to make older people’s health a priority. In our region the population aged 65 years and older is projected to be 65,100 by the year 2021, which is over 16% of the population. As our aged population increases, so does our need to ensure that we have adequate community supports and services available to care for people as they enter this phase of their life.

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Dying to Know Day Dinner

Earlier this month, we held a successful Dying to Know Day Dinner which was the next step in the launch of our Compassionate Communities Project. Together with our partner, the GroundSwell Project, we are working to activate the first Compassionate Community in our region, starting in the Blue Mountains.

Compassionate Communities is an innovative approach to end-of-life care that recognises the importance of community networks, human connection, kindness and compassion to our overall health and wellbeing. A Compassionate Community is a care network that reconnects people to their community and helps support them in their last phase of their life. The aim of the dinner was to engage with local healthcare practitioners to strengthen their understanding of the power of informal support networks, and how they can harness these networks to build alternative pathways of support for patients.

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A whole of community approach to end-of-life

Last Tuesday evening I attended our A whole of community approach to end-of-life event in Katoomba, which featured guest speaker Dr Julian Abel, Director of Compassionate Communities UK and Vice President of Public Health Palliative Care International.

At the event, Dr Abel provided insights into how the Frome Community in Somerset (UK) demonstrated a 30% reduction in unplanned hospital admissions through the implementation of a Compassionate Communities model - an innovative approach to end-of-life care that recognises the importance of human connection, kindness and compassion to our overall health and wellbeing.

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End of Life Care Project

In our region, around 1,600 people would benefit from some form of end of life care each year, which equates to more than 133 people each month.

This year, we started an End of Life Care initiative, that involves collaboration and input from GPs, hospital staff in palliative care and nursing, residential aged care workers, sociological and psychological experts, and NSW Ambulance. 

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'End of Life' Care in our Region

It's something that many find difficult to talk about, but end of life care planning can improve the management of a patient's health conditions and help to keep people out of hospital unless it is absolutely necessary. And today being "Dying to Know Day" provides us with a great opportunity to talk about this sometimes taboo subject. 

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Lizz Reay's avatar
Lizz Reay is the CEO of Wentworth Healthcare, provider of the Nepean Blue Mountains Primary Health Network. Previously Deputy CEO of Nepean Blue Mountains Medicare Local & Nepean Division of General Practice, she has an extensive background in public health.
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