Palliative Care Australia ramps up campaign for National Palliative Care Week in MaySpiritual Health Association Newsletter

Palliative Care Australia (PCA) ramps up campaign for National Palliative Care Week in May

Talking about death is not something that’s done lightly, and for some it can be incredibly difficult to confront the harsh reality that comes at the end of life, be it your own or a loved one’s.

And while it’s a task none of us ever want to face, there may come a time where open conversations about end of life care become a necessity.

Camilla Rowland, Palliative Care Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, is hoping to spark these types of conversations to take the mystery out of the emotive subject.

No longer do people have to be bed-ridden as an inpatient at a hospital, there are a range of different ways someone can receive care. They include home-based care, hospice care, outpatient care in clinics or facilities, and care options and supervision via telehealth.

She said Palliative Care Week in May offers moments of reflection for all Aussies, especially considering demand for palliative care has increased by 30 per cent on the back of the pandemic.

“We are also keen to use the week to recognise our amazing volunteers, carers and paid workforce – the doctors, nurses, physios, social workers, occupational therapists, dietitians and others who all contribute to that wholistic, team approach to palliative care,” Ms Rowland said.

Between May 21 and 27, the theme ‘Matters of Life and Death’ will be front and centre in our communities’ collective consciousness. As part of their campaign, PCA and their member organisations in every state and territory are developing a dynamic program of events.

“We have been working with award winning documentary makers for over two years, ‘Live the life you please’ will make you smile, laugh, laugh harder and occasionally shed a tear as a diverse range of Australians share the last chapter of life with us,” Ms Rowland said.

Produced by multi-award winning filmmakers Moonshine Agency, the film has a “treasure trove” of Australian stories captured from cities to remote communities.

“The launch of (this) documentary will inspire many conversations and open the door on the full scope and impact of palliative care,” Ms Rowland said.

The film will premiere at Parliament House, Canberra on May 22 and will officially launch National Palliative Care Week.

Ms Rowland hopes it will also launch “thousands of conversations about the importance of quality palliative care and end of life planning”.

As the national peak body for palliative care since 1998, PCA is using the week to continue their mission of making a world where palliative care is available for all, when and where they need it.

For more information on National Palliative Care Week events, how to get involved, and film screening details across Australia, visit Help raise awareness of palliative care on social media by using the hashtags #MattersofLifeAndDeath and #NPCW2023.

Jactina Dickins, The Canberra Times