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From our CEO: More Than You Think

Many of you will be aware that we are in the middle of national Palliative Care Week. Our colleagues at Palliative Care Australia have released a new campaign, Palliative Care: it’s more than you think. There are so many parallels between this campaign and how we talk about integrated spiritual care. Just as palliative care is much more than clinical care at the final few days of life, spiritual care is much more than a narrow range of rituals or prayers. Not to say the latter isn’t vital for some, but as you know, it all depends on understanding the person and their important connections.

The role of palliative care in aged care has received deserved attention by the Royal Commission – it is sacred work to help people live as well as possible in their final years, months and weeks, and yet our aged care workforce and models of care are not in a position to give this work the attention it deserves. You can see the new videos and campaign materials for palliative care week here.

We have a number of resources to assist you in grappling with integrated spiritual care for all staff and older people, in the context of palliative and end of life care. These materials embrace purposeful, connected and sensitive support for all. Have a look at our Considerations Series, the Spirituality of Dying Workshop, Dying with Loving Words and the Multifaith Practices Guide. National Guidelines Outcome Tool 3.9 is especially relevant for assisting older people to prepare for the end of their life. Then there is One Minute Moment When Someone Dies and Outcome Tool 5.10 that includes memorialisation. We have plenty on supporting staff and others around grief, and an outline of good communication processes in Outcome Tool 1.4.

Finally, many of you are aware of the recent loss of our inaugural board chair, Ross Low. Thank you to all who have sent messages of support. I have been personally moved by the number of people who knew him and have added their own comments about his wisdom and leadership on our LinkedIn page. Vale, Ross. Your legacy will long continue.

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