caring@home and Shannon’s Bridge join forces to improve
at-home palliative care choices for Victorians.
28 November, 2018
caring@home are pleased to announce an agreement with Shannon's Bridge, a Victorian charity that will fund the production and distribution of 3,500 caring@home carer packages for community services that care for palliative patients in Victoria.
Prof. Liz Reymond, Palliative Medicine Consultant, Deputy Director, Metro South Palliative Care Service in Queensland, and Project Director of caring@home says that the agreement will ensure that terminally-ill people in Victoria have more choice in where they want to be cared for at the end of life.
"Currently, one of the most frequent reasons that community-based palliative patients are transferred to hospital inpatient units is because their symptoms cannot be adequately controlled at home," says Prof. Reymond.
“Apart from unwanted hospital admissions and associated healthcare costs, failure to achieve timely and effective control of symptoms has enormous consequences resulting in tremendous distress to patients, carers and community service providers alike.
"The agreement with Shannon's Bridge makes available 3,500 caring@home carer packages to Victorian palliative care community services. The services can use the packages to train carers to help manage breakthrough symptoms safely using subcutaneous medicines for a person who chooses to die at home.
"This is a good outcome for terminally-ill people in Victoria who choose to be cared for and to die at home."
Mr Jeremy McKnight, founder of Shannon's Bridge says that the caring@home carer package is essential for patients, family members and carers if a person chooses to die at home.
"The package, along with support and guidance from healthcare professionals, is essential in helping to allow a person who is dying the choice of where that happens," says Mr McKnight.
"The package is effective and easy-to-use, gives peace of mind and provides a practical solution for families to control breakthrough symptoms at home, especially at a time which is extremely emotional for those involved.
"I know how effective these packages can be from personal experience with my daughter; these packages are essential for anyone wishing to care for someone who wants to be at home when they die."
The latest statistics show that 70 per cent of Australians wish to be at home when they die but unfortunately less than eight per cent can achieve this.
"The healthcare professionals currently working in palliative care are amazing and the caring@home package does not seek to replace the work that they do," says Mr McKnight.
"But we know that the existing services are stretched very thinly especially through regional and rural areas. These packages can greatly assist community service providers, GPs and nurses by allowing them to provide practical help to families so they can control breakthrough symptoms for a person dying at home.”
Shannon's Bridge was formed in response to this identified need and gap in care at end of life. The charity connects patients and families with palliative care services to ‘bridge' the gap if no formal services exist to support end-of-life care in the preferred place of care.
The charity is one of six services to share in $5.5 million funding from the Victorian Government’s End-of-life Ancillary Service grant program.
caring@home is funded by the Australian Government and aims to improve the quality of palliative care service delivery across Australia by making available resources that will support people to be cared for and to die at home, if that is their choice.
Resources are available Australia-wide for community service providers, healthcare professionals and carers to support carers to help manage breakthrough symptoms safely using subcutaneous medicines.