Palliative care is your right

Palliative Care Week 2022: It's your right

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National Palliative Care Week from May 22-28. Photo supplied.

National Palliative Care Week from May 22-28. Photo supplied.

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Live life as fully as comfortably as possible, even with a life-limiting or terminal illness.

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National Palliative Care Week from May 22-28 is Australia's largest annual awareness raising initiative held to increase understanding of the many benefits of palliative care.

Palliative Care Australia (PCA) said the theme for 2022 is Palliative Care: It's your right.

Now in its 27th year, the week and the theme seek to raise awareness about the rights of all Australians to access high quality palliative care when and where they need it.

PCA will organise more conversations in the community during the week about the benefits of quality care.

Virtual and face-to-face events will be held across the country to acknowledge and celebrate the commitment and dedication of all those working and volunteering in the palliative care sector.

Palliative care can help people with life-limiting illnesses to live as well as possible, for as long as possible, supporting their physical, emotional, spiritual and social needs.

The organisation said that as our population rapidly ages and grows, and more people live longer but with more complex chronic conditions, the need for palliative care is going to surge.

The Palliative Care Australia Roadmap 2022-2027 revealed demand for palliative care is rising, with the estimated demand in Australia expected to increase by 50 per cent between now and 2035, and double by 2050.

OPAN

Meanwhile, Australia's peak body for aged care advocacy support, the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN), has welcomed the careful opening of residential aged care homes.

The Health Department's interim guidance allows for greater flexibility in balancing the need to reduce transmission of COVID-19 against the impact of social isolation on residents.

Under the changes, each aged care resident can be visited by one essential visitor at all times, including during management of an outbreak or exposure.

OPAN chief executive Craig Gear said the easing of restrictions was a win for older people and their families.

"The real risks created by Covid need to be assessed against the broader impacts of extended restrictions on the overall health and wellbeing of older people in aged care," he said.

"There are many known risks and impacts on older people when they face sustained social isolation.

"These impacts can manifest physically, affecting their strength, bone and muscle mass, and independent function. And they can also result in anxiety, loneliness, depression and cognitive decline.

"We have been calling for careful changes to visitation rules for many months now - and we welcome these adjustments which will no doubt improve the wellbeing of older people."

Phone OPAN on 1800-700-600 for more information.

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