Great Southern Compassionate Communities

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Compassionate Communities is an international public health palliative approach whose aim is to engage broad community support for people approaching the end of their lives. The movement takes initiatives that encourage and enable the whole community to provide care and support to complement those given by health and social service providers.

The Great Southern Compassionate Communities project aims to make our community more knowledgeable about matters to do with death, dying and bereavement; and the care of those affected. Also, to improve access to a broader range of safe and good quality care that will result from this initiative.

A major task for the project will be to influence community attitudes about the end-of-life, and some of the practical issues (such as care) that arise. This will involve thinking and talking about things such as:-

  • Accepting that death, dying and loss are normal/natural
  • Thinking through future treatment and care needs
  • Making an Advance Care Plan to help family, friends, carers and health professionals understand how you would like to be cared for now and in the future.
  • What practical support might be needed to enable terminally ill people to die at home, and how to support family, friends and carers through periods of caring and eventual death.
  • Encouraging broader and shared community support during periods of caring and grief.

The target communities for the project over the two years are:

  • City of Albany (regional centre and major focus of the project initially)
  • Shire of Denmark
  • Shire of Plantagenet
  • Shire of Katanning


Compassionate Communities is an international public health palliative approach whose aim is to engage broad community support for people approaching the end of their lives. The movement takes initiatives that encourage and enable the whole community to provide care and support to complement those given by health and social service providers.

The Great Southern Compassionate Communities project aims to make our community more knowledgeable about matters to do with death, dying and bereavement; and the care of those affected. Also, to improve access to a broader range of safe and good quality care that will result from this initiative.

A major task for the project will be to influence community attitudes about the end-of-life, and some of the practical issues (such as care) that arise. This will involve thinking and talking about things such as:-

  • Accepting that death, dying and loss are normal/natural
  • Thinking through future treatment and care needs
  • Making an Advance Care Plan to help family, friends, carers and health professionals understand how you would like to be cared for now and in the future.
  • What practical support might be needed to enable terminally ill people to die at home, and how to support family, friends and carers through periods of caring and eventual death.
  • Encouraging broader and shared community support during periods of caring and grief.

The target communities for the project over the two years are:

  • City of Albany (regional centre and major focus of the project initially)
  • Shire of Denmark
  • Shire of Plantagenet
  • Shire of Katanning


  • Advance Care Planning Workshops for Residential Aged Care

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    Palliative and Supportive Care Education (PaSCE) have launched a series of Advance Care Planning for Residential Aged Care Workshops for 2021. These workshops are available to all staff in residential aged care facilities and provide tailored education for these staff to increase organisational advance care planning (ACP) knowledge. The implementation of ACP practices within residential aged care facilities promotes compliance to the Aged Care Quality Standards (2019) Standards 1, 2 and 3 and the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards, ‘Partnering with consumers’ and ‘Comprehensive care’. Register yourself and team members into one or more of the appropriate workshops to grow your successful ACP practice. These workshops are being delivered virtually:

    Workshop 1: Palliative Care: A Role for Everyone
    Designed for Care workers, Assistants in Nursing, Lifestyle Coordinators, Management & Hospitality Services.
    Learning objectives • Recall what advance care planning is and the benefits • Identify triggers to advocate & support the patient
    Wed 8 September 10.00 - 11.00am
    Mon 20 September 10.00 - 11.00am
    Mon 11 October 1.30pm - 2.30pm
    Mon 25 October 1.30pm - 2.30pm
    Mon 1 November 1.30pm - 2.30pm
    Mon 15 November 1.30pm - 2.30pm

    Register here for this event or others being delivered by PaSCE


    Workshop 2: Palliative Care and Advance Care Planning in Aged Care: The role of the Team
    Designed for Palliative care or ACP experienced* Nurses, Allied Health, Facility Managers and GPs. *If you have no ACP or palliative care knowledge, Workshop 1 may be appropriate for you to attend first.
    Learning objectives • Interpret Advance Care Planning information and consider how to integrate into practice • Increase understanding of Palliative Care in Residential Aged Care
    Mon 6 September 2.00 pm - 3.00pm
    Mon 20 September 2.00 pm - 3.00pm
    Mon 25 October 7.30am -8.30am
    Tues 9 November 2.00 pm - 3.00pm
    Tues 23 November 2.00 pm - 3.00pm
    Mon 29 November 2.00 pm - 3.00pm

    Register here for this event or others being delivered by PaSCE


    Workshop 3: Palliative Care and Advance Care Planning in Aged Care: The GP Role
    Designed for GPs and Locum services.
    Learning objectives • Interpret Advance Care Planning information and consider how to integrate into practice • Increase understanding of Palliative Care in Residential Aged Care • Discuss the Challenges
    Mon 6 September 6.30pm - 7.30pm
    Sat 16 October 8.30am - 9.30am
    Tues 2 November 7.30am - 8.30am

    Register here for this event or others being delivered by PaSCE

    Enquiries Email pasce@cancerwa.asn.au or phone 08 9382 9300

  • Heal Country, NAIDOC week 2021!

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    What a fantastic week it has been, its been so wonderful seeing Australians coming together to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders people's culture, history and achievements. It has highlighted how much we have to learn from the worlds oldest culture especially in our connection to Country and it's relationship to our health and wellbeing.

    This year's theme Heal Country made it a fitting time to explore the topics of palliative care, culture, and Country with our First Nations people during the Palliative Care Australia Having a Yarn, Final Footprints: My Culture, My Kinship, My Country webcast.

    The event provided a unique opportunity to learn from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander palliative care practitioners about successfully blending cultural traditions with modern care practices. One interesting takeaway was discovering the innovative approaches that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander palliative care services will use to bring Country to the person when circumstances are such that they cannot return. This reminds us how personal touches in palliative care can positively impact the person's wellbeing during this time. If you didn't get a chance to watch the webcast live, I highly recommend you watch the recording when you get the opportunity!

  • Palliative Care Education - free virtual Aged Care training

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    PaSCE has just released their semester 2 education schedule and their some fantastic training aimed at anyone who works in Aged Care, from care workers through to GPs.

    For more information and to register, head to the PaSCE website

    PEPA Palliative Approach for Residential Aged Care - Thursday 29 July

    Venue: Seminar Room, Cancer Council WA , 15 Bedbrook Place, Shenton Park
    Cost: FREE
    Learning areas: This interactive session will provide you with a greater understanding of a palliative approach, communication skills, advance care planning, symptom recognition and understanding and end of life care
    Presented by: Bernadette Nowak, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Metro Palliative Care Consultancy Service
    Tina Dobrin, Social Worker, Metro Palliative Care Consultancy Service


    Spotlight on Research: "A Voice to Make Sure Residents are Understood" - Thursday 5 August

    Venue: Virtual
    Cost: FREE
    Overview: Join us to get an update from the Palliative Care Outcomes Collaboration (PCOC) and their recent pilot for Residential Aged Care.
    Finally, we have a standardised approach for residential aged care staff to assess and respond to the palliative care needs of people in residential aged care.
    Building on a team approach, which recognises the role of care workers to advocate for residents. The PCOC Wicking Model provides a framework for monitoring and responding to residents’ symptoms and concerns in a timely way. The Model introduces the concept of evidence informing practice and ongoing quality improvement.
    The prototype PCOC Wicking Model was piloted and evaluated in 2019/20, allowing us to refine the final model which is planned to be rolled out in 2022.


    ADVANCE CARE PLANNING WORKSHOPS FOR AGED CARE

    Workshop 1: Palliative Care: A Role for Everyone - various dates

    Venue: Virtual
    Cost: FREE
    Designed for:
    Care Workers, Assistants in Nursing, Lifestyle Coordinators, Management and Hospitality Services
    Learning areas: This education session will aim to enable you to recall what advance care planning is and the benefits, identify triggers to advocate and support the patient.
    Presented by: Experienced clinician and presenter, Geriatrician, Dr Alicia Massarotto

    Dates - please choose a date from the selection below

    September
    Wednesday 8 September 10.00am - 11.00am Register
    Monday 20 September 10.00am - 11.00am Register

    October
    Wednesday 13 October 1.30pm - 2.30pm Register
    Monday 25 October 1.30pm - 2.30pm Register

    November
    Wednesday 3 November 1.30pm - 2.30pm Register
    Monday 15 November 1.30pm - 2.30pm Register

    Workshop 2: Palliative Care and Advance Care Planning in Aged Care: The Role of the Team - various dates TBC

    Venue: Virtual
    Cost: FREE
    Designed for:
    Palliative care or Advance Care Planning experienced* Nurses, Allied Health, Facility Managers and GPs.
    *If you have no ACP or palliative care knowledge, Workshop 1 may be appropriate for you to attend first.
    Learning areas: This education session will aim to provide skills to interpret Advance Care Planning (ACP) information and consider how to integrate into practice, increase understanding of Palliative Care in Residential Aged Care, discuss the challenges of ACP
    Presented by: Experienced clinician and presenter, Dr Alison Parr, Clinical Lead, Palliative Care, WA End of Life and Palliative Care Program, Palliative Care Specialist.

    PaSCE is currently taking expressions of interest for these events. Please register your interest by emailing Jess Park


    Workshop 3: Palliative Care and Advance Care Planning in Aged Care: The GP Role - various dates

    Venue: Virtual
    Cost: FREE
    Designed for:
    GPs and Locum services
    Learning areas: This education session will aim to provide skills to interpret Advance Care Planning (ACP) information and consider how to integrate into practice, increase understanding of Palliative Care in Residential Aged Care, discuss the challenges of ACP in aged care
    Presented by: Experienced clinician and presenter, Dr Lucy Kilshaw., Consultant Geriatrician, Royal Perth Hospital, MBCHB MRCP (UK) FRACP

    Dates - please choose a date from the selection below

    September
    Monday 6 September 6.30pm - 7.30pm Register

    October
    Saturday 16 October 8.30am - 9.30am Register

    November
    Tuesday 2 November 7.30am - 8.30am Register

    Residential Aged Care: Excellence in Palliative Care (RACEPC) Program
    Empower your palliative care link teams to embed person-centred palliative care in your facilities.

    The Residential Aged Care: Excellence in Palliative Care (RACEPC) program is designed to educate and support palliative care link teams to provide best practice care for residents and offer support to family and carers.

    The program involves a two day workshop, two days of mentoring to embed the program and enable teams to develop their confidence and knowledge in delivering a palliative approach in their facility.

    RACEPC program participants will be able to:

    • · Embed the integral part a palliative approach plays in residential aged care.
    • · Understanding the guiding principles inclusive of Residential Aged Care National Standards, Advance Care Planning Australia Position Statement and the Draft Position Statement for Residential Aged Care.
    • · Support palliative care link teams to embed excellence in palliative care.
    • · Develop harmonious communication skills and strategies within the team.
    • · Understand the opportunity advance care planning provides to support client wishes through provision of an individualised palliative approach focused on optimising quality of life.
    • · Utilise palliative care resources.
    • · Develop skills in recognition of the terminal phase and delivery of excellence in end of life care.

    For more information please call 9382 9300.


    Residential Aged Care: Excellence in Palliative Care - 2 Day Workshop
    Wednesday 18 - Thursday 19 August

    Venue: Seminar Room, Cancer Council WA , 15 Bedbrook Place, Shenton Park
    Cost: FREE
    If this program is of interest to you, your PC Link Team and facility please get in touch for more information on how to register.


  • Planning for Respite at Home Guide

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    Accepting support for respite at home and planning the best for everyone - A Guide

    Caring for someone can have its challenges but it can also be extremely rewarding. Whether it is a family member or a friend, you are caring for, you want them to be as well looked after as possible. However, the caring role can become all-consuming and in order to keep going, it’s important to ask for and to accept help .

    The help or support you accept is up to you and can be as simple as having some milk dropped off or the bins taken out. Maybe you have children who need to be taken to sport, or a dog that could do with a run? Or maybe you would enjoy doing that yourself, while a friend sits with the person you are caring for? This guide has been developed to encourage you to ask for and accept support, especially in-home respite support to allow you and your family to be supported and have quality time for yourselves.

    This guide is a collaboration with Albany Community Hospice and Great Southern Compassionate Communities to support individuals, families and carers through palliative caring at home. For more information on Compassionate Communities and Albany Community Hospice click here . The guide can be accessed here.

    The Health End of Life Program has a helpful guide to help you to put things in place to make the most of all the personal and social networks available to you, it can be accessed here .

  • Palliative Care Week 2021

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    May 23 – 29 is National Palliative Care Week, which aims to raise awareness of the support, treatment and care people living with life limiting illnesses can access, including advanced care planning. Palliative care provides holistic health care to people so they can live their remaining days how they want to, as well and as long as possible.
    This week we are sharing the stories of family members, carers and health professionals involved in supporting loved ones and patients in their final weeks and months. By growing awareness and engaging in sometimes difficult conversations we can all be open and prepared to support loved ones living in palliative care.
    Here, Ruby's mum Tamara tells the story of how Advanced Care Planning helped Ruby live her final weeks with love and comfort, surrounded by her family.


    Here, Irene talks about her voluntary work with palliative care patients and the difficult decisions she made on behalf of her mum which prompted her decision to get involved.


    Here Rani talks about having realistic conversations with her elderly father, who is located on the other side of the country

    Here, Mayor Dennis Wellington reflects on his friend’s end of life experience and how we should all approach end of life discussions with honesty and compassion.


    Here, Hospice Manager and registered nurse Fiona Jane shares her story of working in hospice and supporting residents to consider their final wishes as part of their advanced care plans, to ensure their final days are lived the way they want to.


  • ‘Death cleaning’: decluttering before you die

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  • Did you attend the Compassionate Albany Charter Launch?

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    How to get involved:

    • Go to a Death Cafe meeting https://deathcafe.com/profile/8083/
    • Create and support artistic events that get people talking about death, dying, loss and bereavement
    • Host events at your home, club or place of worship to support those who are experiencing loss, death and bereavement
    • Start up a compassionate network to support someone you know that is having a difficult time
    • Talk openly about your future care and wishes and complete your Advance Care Plan
    • Offer to help someone find information online
    • Volunteer with an organisation that supports people
    • Stop and listen

    Keep checking in with us, we are continuously updating the resources pages.

    Find out more about Dr John Rosenberg and Public Health Palliative Care International https://phpci.info/contact

    See the charter https://www.albany.wa.gov.au/facilities/community/connected-communities.aspx

    We would love to hear from you, feel free to ask questions on the Q&A page.


    With Thanks to
    • All our community members, representatives from clubs, sporting and faith groups, community and government agencies who participated in workshops. Your words, stories and aspirations are the charter and it is your continuing support and voice that will bring it to life within our community.
    • Project Steering Group
    • City of Albany community development team
    • WAPHA Compassionate community staff
    • Our friends and partners in the Compassionate community project; Albany Community Hospice, (Heather and Tony’s Story), Hawthorn House Alzheimer’s WA, Soroptimist International Albany, and Greenman,
    • Albany Death Café and the Dying to Know network group

  • Albany City Council Support a Compassionate Community

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    The City of Albany and WA Primary Health Alliance have partnered to develop a Compassionate Albany Charter that encourages community to play a stronger role in supporting individuals and families through difficult times.

    Endorsed by Council on the Ordinary Council Meeting on 25th August, it is understood the project was the first of its kind in WA where a Local Government has worked with key health and community stakeholders to achieve a whole-of-community owned compassionate charter.

    The City of Albany will be the custodian of the Charter, which has a palliative care focus and encourages neighbourhood networks that provide a support structure to residents when they need it most.

    Workshops took place with community members to discuss all aspects of what makes a support network successful, and how Albany could become a more compassionate place to live.

    Six key themes were agreed; Shared Humanity, Community Mindedness, Compassionate Organisations, Communication and Information Sharing, Compassionate Places and Spaces, and Leadership and Advocacy.

    Albany Mayor Dennis Wellington said the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic emphasised the importance and value of having a Compassionate Charter.

    “Supporting this Compassionate Albany Charter means we are supporting our community to look out for each other through hardship, whether that be personal or economic to individuals, families or businesses,” Mayor Wellington said.

    “This Charter has a key focus on supporting people through the end-of-life process, but the compassionate aims spread broader than that too and encourages service providers, businesses, organisations, groups and clubs to work together to create an Albany that is resilient, responsive and understanding.

    “It’s crucial that we stick together, look out for others who might be vulnerable and show compassion to those who are experiencing hardship or grief.”

    The Compassionate Albany Charter and report can be found on the City of Albany website or in hard copy at the City of Albany Administration Building on North Road or the Albany Public Library, or in electronic format at the Great Southern Compassionate Communities website . A detailed report of the Compassionate Albany Charter can be found here

  • Consumer Perspectives on Palliative Care in WA – Patients and Carers - have your say now

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    Researchers at the Perron Institute are currently seeking the views of patients with a life-limiting illness, their family/friend carers and anyone who was a family/friend carer of a person with a life limiting illness in the last five years to participate in their consumer survey of patient and carer perspectives on palliative care. The survey is open to people who have accessed palliative care as well as those who have not accessed palliative care. This research is part of an independent review of palliative care services in WA.

    Survey closing date has been extended to Sunday 16 August. Access at the link below

    https://perroninstitute.org/consumer-perspectives-of-palliative-care

  • Starting Conversations with Dying to Know Day

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    Dying to Know Day (August 8th) is an annual campaign that activates community members and organisations to host events that encourage critical discussion and planning around death, dying and grief. Each year hundreds of events are put on across the country ranging from death cafes to Q&A’s, art exhibitions and film screenings - all with the intention of generating these critical conversations.

    This year, in the Great Southern, Kali Caramia and Helen Bolton from Life Tree will be facilitating two workshops were participants can explore the innovative 'Your Life Talks' starter cards. Kali and Helen's mission is to raise community awareness of the importance of initiating meaningful conversations within families, to recognise our intrinsic need to remember and celebrate our life and achievements. To find out more and register https://www.facebook.com/events/262810478331751/

    If you are in the South West, please check out the wonderful events they have coming up on August 7, 8 and 9. It's a chance for our South West community to gather and talk about all things death, dying and bereavement. Please register your interest in the individual events to stay updated and assist with catering purposes. All events are free. https://www.facebook.com/pg/comcomnetworksw/events/?ref=page_internal

    In light of COVID-19 Groundswell have remixed Dying to Know and are bringing an array of events to you! Over the last couple of months Groundswell has worked with trusted partners to deliver free, online events that offer insight into different aspects of end of life planning; from organising a funeral under COVID-19 to getting to know end of life doulas to where to begin when writing your will. You can find recordings of these webinars on their website. We are also posting events on our website so be sure to check in to see what is on offer.