Home' Southern Health News : Southern Health News - December 2014 Contents Tool supports end
of life choices
BY JACQUIE VAN SANTEN
A Southern Adelaide Health Alliance
(SAHA) initiative that aims to support
clinicians and older patients with end
of life decision making, is expected
to be rolled out in residential care
facilities across South Australia.
The My choice: end-of-life care tool – a tool to
support general practitioners during conversations
around resuscitation and end-of-life care with
older people – is a partnership between SAHA,
Estia Health, GPs, residential care facilities,
hospital staff and emergency/paramedic services.
The tool is currently being trialled in four
of Estia Health’s residential aged care
facilities in the south, and will inform a
rollout of the initiative across the State.
Using the ‘7-step pathway’, the tool is
designed to reduce inconsistencies in patients
receiving unwanted treatment at the end of
their life; instead focusing on their comfort,
dignity and time with their families.
“Imagine this: you’re in your 80s or 90s and
you’ve had a wonderful life. But now you are
very unwell, at the end of your life, and you’re
suddenly transferred from your nursing home to
hospital with no control of the situation and really
against what you want. This is not only unsettling
and sometimes frightening for many people, but
if they then die away from their home, it can
really damage that important last chapter of their
lives,” said General Practitioner Dr Chris Moy.
He said while this was an unfortunate reality
for many people, it didn’t need to be.
“There are many members of the community
who believe that the health system has difficulty
listening to and respecting their wishes, and
maybe abandons them at the end, allowing
them to suffer as they die,” Dr Moy said.
“Seventy per cent of Australians die in acute
care hospitals and we can try to shift the focus
to a process which respects patient wishes
in a legal, ethical and compassionate way,
giving them and their families more time to
spend their final moments together, instead of
being inappropriately transferred to hospitals
and aged care facilities by ambulance.”
The My Choice: end-of-life pilot is one of
SAHA’s projects that aim to give back 500,000
healthy hours to the community by 2017.
SAHA is a strategic partnership between
Southern Adelaide Local Health Network
(SALHN), Southern Adelaide-Fleurieu Kangaroo
Island (SAFKI) Medicare Local, SA Ambulance
Service and Health Consumers Alliance of SA.
A garden for thought
BY SARAH KOLAR
Families who are grieving the loss of a loved one at Daw House Hospice will now
have a place to pause and reflect, with the creation of a tranquil garden space
within the grounds of the Repatriation General Hospital.
The $30,000 project, which is called Your
Garden, has been designed by Vivid Spaces and
funded by the Daw House Hospice Foundation.
It features a Tree of Life sculpture with rustic
stainless steel leaves that can be engraved with
a message in memory of a loved one.
Daw House Hospice Foundation Executive
Officer Leanne Tripodi said Your Garden,
which is located a short walk from the hospice,
would be a quiet place for those who had
recently experienced the loss of a loved one
or for those who might be preparing to say
“The loss of a loved one is a trying time,”
“What can make a difference is the
environment we choose to heal and reflect
within, and the Foundation believed it was vital
to provide the community with a space which
promoted feelings of tranquillity and calm.
“At home or at work, it’s not always possible
to focus solely on the experience of saying
goodbye to a friend or family member, but we
know it is vital to find that time to just be with
Daw House Hospice, which celebrated its
25th anniversary last year, is part of the wider
Southern Adelaide Palliative Service (SAPS) – a
service that receives more than 1,200 referrals
each year and boasts a unique three-pronged
program covering clinical practice (hospital
and community), research and academia. The
hospice has more than 300 admissions each
year for patients in the terminal stage of their
“Just like a family tree, formed by the coming
together of many different journeys, the Your
Garden project centres around the Tree of Life
that holds leaves honouring each individual’s life
story,” Leanne said.
“One of the most common requests that come
from bereaved families is to acknowledge their
connection to their loved one in a tangible and
meaningful way by leaving a mark within the
grounds of Daw House and this project fulfils
this special and unique need.”
The garden will be officially opened this month.
Leaves for the Tree of Life can be purchased
from the Daw House Hospice Foundation for
$165 and will be posted back to the family after
12 months in Your Garden.
To find out more, call the Daw House
Hospice Foundation on 8275 1142 or visit
14 / DECEMBER 2014 / SOUTHERN HEALTH NEWS
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