What is Palliative Care?
Palliative care is person and family-centred care provided for a person with an active, progressive, advanced disease, who has little or no prospect of cure and who is expected to die, and for whom the primary goal is to optimise the quality of life.
Palliative Care Australia
It involves the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual.
United Nations World Health Organisation
The Palliative Egg – Phases and layers of Palliative Care – Providence Health BC Canada
Who benefits from palliative care
Life-limiting illness may affect people of any age – from the newborn to the frail elderly. Its impact also extends to a wide range of others, including immediate and extended family, friends and neighbours, as well as the health practitioners who treat patients.
“Most people who have a life-threatening condition can benefit from palliative care, whether or not they are having active treatment. Palliative care helps with personal, social and medical problems associated with potentially mortal illness, especially [physical and existential] pain and other distressing symptoms. It assists families and carers and supports them in [grief and loss and] bereavement. It uses skilled approaches from a trained team, but often involves friends, family and the wider community. Palliative care improves wellbeing, and in some instances has even been shown to extend life.”
Professor David Clark, Professor of Medical Sociology at the University of Glasgow; founder of the Glasgow End of Life Studies Group.
How we work
We are an incorporated association in NSW, a registered charity with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) with Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status, which allows donors of goods and services to claim tax deductions for their donations to MVP4P.
We have four main areas of activity:
- Advocacy and Awareness Raising
- Provision of specialised equipment
- Facilitate access to ancillary resources and services
We have an executive committee of ten: our four office bearers plus six others. There are two working groups, one focussing on Fundraising and the other on Advocacy and Awareness-Raising. One of our committee members is an occupational therapist who advises on the selection and supply of specialist equipment needed by both Manning Hospital and community care patients.
When we meet
We hold General Members meetings every two months between February and November. The Executive Committee also meets every two months, in between the General Members meetings. Our Annual General Meeting, held in the last quarter of the calendar year, is open to members and the public. Smaller group meetings are held for support working group programs, especially fundraising and advocacy and awareness activities.
You can help
By becoming a member of MVP4P you can make a difference to your community. Members participate in whatever capacity they wish. Having a broad membership gives MVP4P a stronger community voice and a clearer understanding of what people need.
How we began
A grassroots initiative.
Judy Hollingworth, now chair of MVP4P, started out by making door-to-door visits and inviting individuals throughout the Manning Valley to a public meeting in Taree about palliative care.
She also distributed posters throughout the region, asking shopkeepers and organisations to display them and…
You matter because you are you, and you matter to the end of your life. We will do all we can not only to help you die peacefully, but also to live until you die. Suffering is only intolerable when nobody cares.
– Dame Cicely Saunders, founder of the hospice movement
Those who have the strength and the love to sit with a dying patient in the silence that goes beyond words will know that this moment is neither frightening nor painful, but a peaceful cessation of the functioning of the body.
– Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
The closest thing to being cared for is to care for someone else.
– Carson McCullers
The only goal for those who midwife death is to be really present for the one dying. Midwifeing death is about being not about doing.
– Dr Michael Barbato, retired palliative care specialist, author of Midwifeing Death
Death is more than the end of life – it is a profound human experience.
– Dr Michael Barbato
We live in a culture that cherishes life and abhors death. We use militaristic language: “the battle against cancer”, “she fought to the last”…. Palliative Care turns the heroic on its head. It does not aim to cure its diseases. Its objective is not to continue life at all costs…. Our miracles, such as they are, lie on a different plane.
– Dr Frank Brennan, palliative care specialist, author of Standing on the Platform