In 2020, Judith Leeson AM, contracted an infection which turned into sepsis and made her critically ill. The near-death experience provided the impetus for the career counsellor and well-loved community advocate to start conversations about her end-of-life care wishes and preferences, and to demystify the words ‘palliative care,’ ‘death’ and ‘dying’ in her family.
“My family have been reluctant to talk about my death, and I know that fear of loss is a constraint, as is embarrassment,” Leeson says.
Choosing someone to act on your behalf, she says, will be less stressful for them if they clearly understand your wishes in advance about what care you think will enable you to live with dignity and where and how that care is delivered.
“In moments of great stress, when we receive unexpectedly bad news, we need to draw on our sources of reliable information to help us make better informed and considered decisions,” Leeson says.
“CareSearch have been useful in my conversations about death and dying with my children.”
Today the CareSearch Project, a leader in the provision of evidence-based palliative care information, has launched its new portal.
Funded by the Australian Government Department of Health, the interactive and revamped portal is designed to support everyone – patients, carers, health professionals, and ordinary Australians – to have conversations about death and dying and make informed palliative care decisions.
“We will all need palliative care at one point, and many us will also care for a loved one who is dying.
“The new CareSearch portal is designed to help all Australians to prepare for their palliative care journey with trustworthy information and resources,” CareSearch director Professor Jennifer Tieman says.
The new portal will help individuals, families and communities to start reflections and conversations about dying and death, which are important steps in planning and getting appropriate support.
A section to empower diverse and underserved Australians to get appropriate and quality palliative care and support is also featured.
“In addition, the portal supports GPs, specialists, nurses, nurse practitioners, and allied health professionals to provide quality care in any setting they may be – whether in hospitals, paediatrics, aged care, or home or community care,” Tieman says.
“Further, it provides the evidence that supports best practice and improved care.
“Our hope is that with the new CareSearch Portal, more Australians will be empowered when the time that they need support comes and our health professionals are equipped to provide quality palliative care.”