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My story as a family member and Palliative volunteer

My experience comes from both as a Palliative Volunteer of 25 years And as a carer to both my parents and brother , with whom I sat with while they died.

In the case of my brother (who passed in 2010) in the Barossa, I can only say, it was my fellow volunteers that got me through..NOT the Palliative care service. Any service in this space that only provided that service during the hours of 9-5, is appalling. I understand that there are not enough staff to cover all bases, all hours....but why not? Dying is'nt scheduled to those hours. He was sent home from the Queen Eluzabeth with a brown paper bag full of lethal drugs...was this a ' do what you will' suggestion?

In my father's case (2018), he was Discharged to a nursing home 2 weeks before he died, all while the hospital knowing he was 'imminent '. At the hospital, he had 24 hrs care with people he knew and trusted...but the hospital ( Gawler) were determined to park him in an aged care facility. Because the care (Eldercare), were so appalling in their care ( inflatable bed unplugged..he spent the night on a metal base, food out of his reach and noise levels through the roof) I stayed with him 14 hrs per day until he passed. No Palliative care, no acknowledgement of such and his doctor visited him 3 days before he died. Eldercare focused solely on getting him registered as a acknowledgement of his Palliative state.

What could and Should have been a sad but supported journey, turned into a Nightmare. SO...

We need more volunteers in this field, supported by professionals.

Hospitals need to Stop farming out patients to nursing homes who have NO interest or intention of providing adequate care!

Palliative care services need to be 24 hours...dying doesn't stop at 5pm. In fact, most of my clients died in the early morning.

Please end this fiasco of a talk-fest and actually listen to the 'troops on the battle front ' !

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