Palliative Care NSW Volunteer Support Services Programme
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Talking about health promotion and end of life

How are community development and health promotion related? Can a compassionate communities initiative be effective if it’s located inside a health service?

Speaking at the Australian Palliative Care Conference in Adelaide at a workshop on Compassionate Communities Andrea Grindrod spoke from personal experience about community development and raising awareness about end of life support.

Andrea is with La Trobe University’s Palliative Care unit in the School of Public Health. Health promoting palliative care draws on the Ottawa Charter of Health Promotion and the literature on the social determinants of health – including housing, education, childhood experience, employment, family income, social support and access to health services.

“Health promotion is a way of working, a way of thinking to enable people to increase control over their lives”, said Andrea.

“In the context of end of life care…the experience of health disadvantage, the social determinants of health, are often informed by social values, beliefs and assumptions…if you are affected by these measures of disadvantage… it will definitely affect your death. So part of health promotion is to ask ‘what’s happening in the culture? In the social support networks? In their social status?’”

One of the necessary tasks of health promotion is to ask ‘what upstream policy settings are affecting these downstream experiences?’. Often the downstream effects are felt by the health service, but the initiatives to address the necessary upstream changes are ‘additional functions beyond the clinical services provided’.

Andrea will be speaking about the La Trobe University Healthy End of Life (HELP) Program at the upcoming Public Health and Palliative Care conference in Ottawa.

Pic: Andrea Grindrod at the Australian Palliative Care Conference 2017 in Adelaide

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