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members of the community receiving
aged care services and community
based palliative care.
PCA wants to see both top down and
bottom up change in the approach we
take to dying. We want the Australian
community to have those difficult
conversations about end of life care,
and become champions to see it
achieved. Too many Australians still
die in a location not of their choosing.
Too many Australians die in a hospital
setting designed to keep them alive.
Too many Australians receive palliative
care at the very end stages of their care
– often too late to have ensured that
that person lives a full life until the end.
We know that the pharmacists of
Australia have a great relationship with
their customers and patients, that there
is a desire to know more about palliative
care and to assist patients with life
limiting illnesses to manage their
This is a role PCA believes pharmacists
are well placed to be involved with
and we look forward to working with
community pharmacy to better prepare
the Australian community to deal with
and manage dying well.
More on palliative care on page 70.
Australians, considered good talkers, fall quiet when it comes to
discussing dying. In a country where a number of taboos have gone by
the wayside, death remains a topic off limits to many.
Care Week – A time
to talk to customers
BY LIZ CALLAGHAN, CEO PALLIATIVE CARE AUSTRALIA
» BE OUR GUEST
In National Palliative Care Week
(24–30 May) Palliative Care Australia
(PCA) hopes to sow the seeds of change,
encouraging people to talk about dying.
In 2015 our theme is: Dying to talk;
talking about dying won’t kill you.
Talking about dying has a personal
and a societal benefit. If you discuss
your wishes at the end of your life with
those closest to you then when the
time comes and all are distressed and in
emotional turmoil, decisions about your
care will be easier to make.
And by knowing what you want when
you die you will, and those close to
you will, become advocates for a
good death, which we know not all
Pharmacy has a significant role to play
in end of life management. For those
facing their final days with a life limiting
illness pain and symptom management
is often conducted through the use of
pharmaceuticals. Pharmacists as part
of the team caring for an individual
with their specialist knowledge and
understanding of drug interactions
PCA and PSA have begun early
discussions about how we can work
more closely together to build a
better understanding of palliative
care in community pharmacy and
through them, the broader community.
There are a number of opportunities,
including education that we will be
exploring in the next six to 12 months.
Pharmacy has an important link to the
community and ongoing engagement
with patients and consumers to offer
broad information to patients about
palliative care. While our hope is always
for cure, the reality is that most people
will live with their terminal illness for a
time and then face dying.
With four out of five deaths due to
chronic disease and cancer becoming
more of a disease managed over time
the interaction of pharmacy, patients
and palliative care will also increase.
Palliative care is not just for those who
are in the final stages of their lives.
People with life limiting illnesses will
often come in and out of palliative care
as their illness progresses and their
needs change. Their pharmaceutical
needs will also progress and a close
relationship with a pharmacist who
is also able to provide additional
support and advice throughout will
Pharmacy also has a role to play in
ensuring members of the community
die in a way that they would want.
Pharmacy is not just a provider and
community support for necessary
drugs, but can also play a leading role
as an information source and support
for carers. This is especially true for
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Care Week 2015
We need to plan for death, just as we plan our lives,
because we only get one chance to do it well.
Become an advocate for palliative care and dying well at:
Palliative Care Australia is funded
by the Australian Government
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