Every person’s experience is different. By listening to your needs, we can provide a personalised care program at your home. For family, and those in a caring role.
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In our modern world, few topics are still considered “taboo”. Yet death and palliative care appear to be among the handful remaining. Palliative care may not be the subject of everyday chit chat, and often, it can be a sensitive, painful topic to discuss. But in bringing this important topic to light, we gain a deeper understanding of something which could greatly benefit us all as we experience or support someone through the end-of-life stages.
With the right supports in place, many people prefer to stay in familiar surroundings with their family nearby.
A BaptistCare client located in greater western Sydney, Monica and her daughter Sue, chose palliative care support at home through their local care team.
Monica had been living with Lewy Body Dementia since she was 65 years old and reached out to BaptistCare in 2019 when the disease significantly worsened. Sue had given up work to become a full-time carer for her mum at home and was also seeking additional support.
Monica had a Level 4 Home Care Package. That meant that she and her family were able to access our support services, subsidised by the Government. We partnered with her daughter, Sue, to create a personalised Advance Care Plan for Monica, based on her preferences and choices.”
“Our role as palliative home care workers is about providing family-centred care - listening to the client, their family, and understanding their particular needs” – Elaine Demelo, BaptistCare Palliative Care Facilitator.
Alongside visiting hospital staff, Elaine and other BaptistCare at home care workers were part of a close-knit team, providing care and support to Monica and her family during the last few years of her life. Monica passed away peacefully at home in December 2022.
The features of palliative care include:
“Caring full-time for a loved one who is dying can be both beautiful and exhausting,” says Elaine. “It’s important to take regular time out to rest and recover so that you can continue to provide the best possible care for your loved one.”
As the primary caregiver for her mum, Clair needed to ensure she also took care of herself to provide the level of care her mum needed. When Barbara was well enough, she enjoyed a day of stimulating, fun activities at her local BaptistCare Social Club allowing Clair time to recuperate.
Throughout her illness, Barbara also enjoyed regular stays at the beautiful Wilmette Cottage, one of several BaptistCare overnight respite centres located across NSW.
“Our team’s regular home visits provided respite for Clair, too,” reflects Elaine. “She could do the gocery shopping or attend her own appointments. Sometimes, we’d just have a cup of tea together and a chat.”
Just like birth, everyone’s end of life experience is unique. Although there are recognisable signs of progression, the palliative process - and the time it takes - can differ from person to person.
“Someone can be palliative for a long period, but signs that they may be approaching the end of their life, such as drowsiness or changes in their appetite or breathing, often become more prevalent.
When it comes to preparing for palliative home care, Elaine says education and planning are key.
Having a basic understanding of the end-of-life process, the challenges and how to address them, as well as a carefully thought-out plan, will make for a smoother and more peaceful experience for everyone.
There are several practical steps you can take to help prepare yourself and your loved one:
If you are at the beginning of your or your loved one’s palliative care journey, our team are here to help you.