Cooinda weighs in on de­bate

Benalla Ensign - - News -

With the de­bate on as­sisted sui­cide po­lar­is­ing the com­mu­nity, Cooinda Aged Care have a bet­ter per­spec­tive than most.

Fol­low­ing our re­cent ar­ti­cle on the Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment’s pro­posed as­sisted sui­cide leg­is­la­tion we spoke with Cooinda Aged Care chief ex­ec­u­tive and head of nurs­ing Mar­garet Aldous to un­der­stand how the cur­rent sys­tem works.

While death is not a sub­ject en­coun­tered on a per­sonal level by most peo­ple with any reg­u­lar­ity, staff and car­ers associated with Cooinda discuss the mat­ter with all res­i­dents.

Ms Aldous says each new res­i­dent is asked to com­plete an Ad­vanced Care Plan, which pro­vides them with the op­por­tu­nity to ex­press their end-of-life wishes.

‘‘We en­cour­age each per­son to discuss th­ese wishes with their fam­ily and their doc­tor if ap­pro­pri­ate,’’ Ms Aldous said.

‘‘In this way the in­di­vid­ual’s choices and wishes are clear to all from ad­mis­sion.

‘‘The ad­vanced care plan is holis­tic.

‘‘It in­cludes choices and wishes that en­com­passes med­i­cal in­ter­ven­tion or sup­port as well as cul­tural, spir­i­tual and emo­tional goals for end of life.

‘‘At Cooinda we aim to en­sure that each per­son’s end of life is a peace­ful ex­pe­ri­ence, re­spect­ing the in­di­vid­ual’s wishes and en­sur­ing their fam­ily’s needs are un­der­stood and re­spected.’’

When the time comes that a res­i­dent does re­quire end-of-life care Cooinda en­sures they re­ceive the best pos­si­ble pal­lia­tive as­sis­tance.

This con­sists of en­sur­ing there is early iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of any prob­lems, the care­ful as­sess­ment and treat­ment of pain and other symp­toms, phys­i­cal, psy­cho­log­i­cal, and spir­i­tual.

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