Hazel completed a placement in December 2021. Hazel completed the placement and feels she has greater understanding about palliative care. Hazel noted “palliative care is quite different in acute and aged care settings. As there are still active treatments ongoing in acute care, it would feel more like a medical ward, not a hospice any more as I would think. However, the aim of palliative care is still the same – ensure to meet the needs of both clients and family. ”
Hazel went on to state her reflection and outcomes as “In terms of palliative care, I believe that the target should be included not only the person with a life limiting illness but also the family/relatives/friend/all other love ones. What I have learnt from placement was more patient centred care/treatments. In aged care, the aim of palliative care would be more focused on comfort care/emotional support rather than active treatments. Therefore, I would be more concentrated on assessing the resident and family to go through the process of grieving.
We have set up a tea trolley which contains refreshment and snacks for residents on End of Life care Pathway and family, thank to lifestyle assistant. We ensure the environment was comfy and soft, such as dim light, soft music, less noise/distribution, comfortable room temperature and bedding. We also have End of Life care plan in place to ensure the resident has received proper comfort care, including pain assessment and analgesia would be provided if required, mouth care, repositioning with air mattress in use, monitoring for any hallucination/restlessness/distress etc. More important is to talk/listen to the resident (if able) and family, spend time with them, understand their concerns in order to provide any assistance if needed, like funeral director arrangement, help to understand the process of death, church service or other spiritual needs. We have on call chaplaincy and pastoral denomination contacts list for urgent needs over
In one word, we are here to provide/assist anything that could help the resident and family to go through the end of stage of life and the process of grieving, maximise the quality of life to both the resident and family, so they could better copy with death. Everyone is different in dealing with the end of life, palliative care therefore would be individual as well. However, the main goal has remained the same despite of lots different strategies/methods being developed/implemented over the years. Delivering understanding care and service is one of Helping Hand’s goals and that of course includes palliative care and death.”
Thank you Hazel for being a part of placement and learning with PEPA.