Your care mat­ters

Central and North Burnett Times - - YOUR SAY - — Ms Chris McMil­lan Can­cer Coun­cil QLD

LAST week marked Na­tional Pal­lia­tive Care Week. In 2017, the theme stood strong: you mat­ter, your care mat­ters.

Can­cer Coun­cil Queens­land is funded by Queens­land Health to pro­vide PalAs­sist – a no-cost phone and on­line ser­vice avail­able to all Queens­lan­ders 24 hours, seven days a week, on 1800 772 273 or palas­sist.org.au.

Na­tional Pal­lia­tive Care Week is an im­por­tant op­por­tu­nity for us to start a com­mu­nity con­ver­sa­tion about death and dy­ing.

Last week, the AIHW re­leased new data show­ing hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tions for pal­lia­tive care are grow­ing faster than all hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tions recorded in Aus­tralia.

Aus­tralia’s ag­ing and in­creas­ing pop­u­la­tion, along with a rise in chronic dis­ease, has in­creased the num­ber of pa­tients re­quir­ing pal­lia­tive care.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, just over half of pal­lia­tive care-re­lated hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tions were for peo­ple aged 75 and over, and a sim­i­lar pro­por­tion in­volved can­cer as the main di­ag­no­sis.

Many of us are afraid to talk about how we want to be cared for when faced with a life-lim­it­ing ill­ness – but our aim is to en­sure all Queens­lan­ders have the best pos­si­ble qual­ity of life at the end of life.

Our 24-hour ser­vice pro­vides emo­tional and prac­ti­cal sup­port to pal­lia­tive care pa­tients, car­ers, fam­ily and friends.

Queens­lan­ders who call can be as­sured of re­ceiv­ing pro­fes­sional ad­vice, which as­sists in help­ing over­come the feel­ings of fear, anx­i­ety, and iso­la­tion that peo­ple af­fected by a life-lim­it­ing ill­ness com­monly ex­pe­ri­ence. We’re urg­ing any Queens­lan­der af­fected by a life-lim­it­ing ill­ness to call on pro­fes­sional sup­port via the PalAs­sist helpline, or at palas­sist.org.au.

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