Hi it’s Patrik Hutzel from www.intensivecareathome.com.au where we provide tailor made solutions for long-term ventilated Adults& Children with Tracheostomy by improving their Quality of life and where we also provide tailor made solutions to hospitals and Intensive Care Units to save money and resources, whilst providing Quality Care!
In last week’s BLOG I shared
You can check out last week’s blog here.
In this week’s blog I want to share another article that was published on the ABC last week!
The ABC is going even further and is clearly leaning on more research that has been conducted by a new study from Western Sydney University and the study says
OVERHAUL OF AUSTRALIAN HEALTH SYSTEM NEEDED TO ALLOW PEOPLE TO DIE AT HOME: STUDY
In this article the ABC highlights once again that less than 20% of Australians are dying at home and yet more than 80% of Australians want to die at home if given the choice!
There are simply not enough palliative care services and not enough funding geared towards more home care services, as most money is allocated and spent for in-hospital care.
Dying at home should also include high acuity areas such as Intensive Care, where end of life situations can be managed at home as well!
Here is the article
Overhaul of Australian health system needed to allow people to die at home: study
By Lucy Carter
The Australian health system needs an overhaul to allow more people to die at home on their own terms, according to a new study from Western Sydney University.
According to the lead author, Associate Professor Debbie Horsfall, 80 per cent of Australians would prefer to die at home in familiar surroundings and in the presence of family, but only 20 per cent of people are able to do so.
“For me that’s quite an astounding fact given the state of the nation, Australia being a very wealthy country, (that) we weren’t able to support more people to do one of the most important things in their lives where they wanted to do it.”
She said there are a number of factors hindering people from dying at home.
“Firstly that not everybody knows they can die at home, secondly a lot of the resources in the system are still geared towards hospital deaths rather than home deaths, and I think the community, friends, neighbours, workplaces also need to know that they need to step up and support people as well,” Associate Professor Horsfall said.
“Often when someone is dying at home, they’ve got a primary carer who may be their spouse or their daughter or son, but those people need someone to cut the grass, do the shopping, take the children to school, often really practical things, maybe somebody at the end of the telephone to give them emotional support.
“And sometimes I think in the community we’re a little bit fearful and a little bit too private, so if we could break down some of those barriers then people would get more of the support they needed.”
The story of 96-year-old Sheila Gray’s death is one of more than 200 included in the five-year study into palliative care and deaths at home.
You only get one chance at it so it’s probably quite important that it’s positive.Associate Professor Debbie Horsfall
“She had macular degeneration, she had poor hearing, she’d begun to have some strokes and some dementia and she was going downhill fast,” said Ms Gray’s daughter Jo Milne-Home.
“In the end it became quite clear that the end was near and so, I had her in Sydney at the time, I said, ‘Did you want to go home?’ and she indicated that yes she did.”
Ms Milne-Home and her car enthusiast mother set off on one last road trip from Sydney to her mother’s home at Bangalow in northern New South Wales.
“She was a mechanic, she loved cars, she loved being on the road,” she recalled.
“That was a way of being with her in a way that I knew that she liked being.
“She held my hand most of the way home.”
Ms Milne-Home said that with plenty of support from local health care providers, Sheila Grey died peacefully at home, surrounded by her loved ones.
Not possible for everyone to die at home
Professor Richard Chye, the director of Palliative Care at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, has questioned Associate Professor Horsfall’s assertion that 80 per cent of Australians would prefer to die at home.
“When patients are given a diagnosis that their life is limited, one of the first things they do actually think about is ‘Yes I want to die at home’, but as patients actually progress into this diseases and understand what the disease is doing to the individual patients and to the rest of the family, I think that figure actually drops down quite a lot,” he said.
Professor Chye said it was simply not possible for everyone to be able to die at home.
“Some families don’t want their loved ones to be at home and die because they see that as a big burden,” he said.
“In the eastern suburbs, in terms of our demographic, I have a population where we have the frail who look after the frail.
“Yes there’s lots of children around but they all have their own lives and live away from their parents. And the frail looking after the frail is not a good recipe to try and have patients go for home deaths.”
He said the health system needed more staff to help those who were able to die at home.
“We could do more and have more people who teach patients and carers… I could do a lot more with more social workers in the community for example, to be able to offer counselling, to offer emotional support.
“I could do a lot more with that.”
Associate Professor Debbie Horsfall said improving the palliative system to allow more deaths at home was vitally important.
“You only get one chance at it so it’s probably quite important that it’s positive,” she said.
“It also helps the carers and the loved ones around them if it’s as positive.
“I mean it’s always going to be a sad thing, losing someone and dying is always going to be sad, but the people we spoke to talked about it also being beautiful and profound.”
What are your thoughts?
Do you think that an overhaul of the Australian health care system is needed when it comes to more palliative care services in the home?
Leave your comments on the blog here.
We are also currently hiring enthusiastic and experienced Intensive Care nurses with Critical Care certificate for ventilated Clients in Melbourne.
We would also like to hear from you if you have a minimum of 2 years Paediatric ICU experience, as we have opportunities here as well!
You can also contact me on 041 094 2230 if you want to know more about how we can help you, your Intensive Care Unit and your Patients and Families.
Thank you for tuning into this week’s blog.
This is Patrik Hutzel from INTENSIVE CARE AT HOME and I see you again next week in another update!