Aged care, palliative care and volunteering
Where do palliative care volunteers fit into the model of care for our aged people?
Bronwyn Heron shares some experiences from when she started working as a Clinical Nurse Consultant Palliative Care with Anglican Retirement Villages (ARV) about 2011, joining Palliative Care CNC colleague Christine Lancaster. Bronwyn heads up the Palliative and Aged Care Network and said:
“We are trying to open-up thinking about palliative care in aged care, which is so much more than the dying. In aged care I think there is a need for greater awareness of the importance of the provision of a palliative approach. More than that, I think improving access to palliative care is a real issue of equity particularly for elderly residents in care.
“We are really keen on raising the profile of palliative care in aged care and volunteers can be a key member of the care team toward provision of support and comfort to the frail aged and their families requiring palliative care support as they approach and reach the end of their lives.”
In 2015 PCNSW Policy Officer Megan Burke undertook a pilot study of the practices of Residential Aged Care Facilities in Western Sydney Local Health District in relation to volunteers and palliative care.
You can download her research report here, view a presentation to the Palliative and Aged Care Network on the findings and read more about the presentation (please click on the blue text to download).