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Palliative care: better to plan ahead

Today, I feel good, I feel healthy, there is nothing wrong with me. But what about tomorrow or next year?
We don’t know what’s in store for us – that’s why we plan.

South Western Sydney Primary Health Network is hosting What matters most: Planning for the ‘but’ at Tahmoor Community Centre during National Palliative Care Week, May 19 to 25, to help the community plan for possible future health challenges.

The information session and discussion, on Thursday, May 23, 10am to noon, will cover topics including:

What is palliative care and why it isn’t only about dying or cancer;

Advance Care Planning; Dementia – what it is and how it can affect future decision-making.

National Palliative Care Week is held each year to raise awareness of and understanding about palliative care.
This year’s theme, ‘What matters most’, highlights the need to plan ahead for end-of-life care and discuss your preferences with loved ones and health professionals.

South Western Sydney Primary Health Network chief executive officer Dr Keith McDonald said the information session would give the community a better understanding of why it was important to plan for a time they might not be able to make medical decisions for themselves.

“It will give participants an opportunity to ask questions, to talk about the sensitive subject of end-of-life care and to consider ‘what matters most’ to them and their loved-ones – whether it be spending time outdoors, being at home or having their pets with them,” he said.

“Planning and making your choices known to your family and GP will ensure people with life-limiting illnesses have the best quality of life and can ensure their care preferences are respected at the end of their life.”

The free event will include morning tea. For more information or to register to attend, call 4632 3000 or visit swsphn.com.au

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