Understanding some Support Needs of Palliative Care Home Carers: A Critical Reflection

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Supporting carers is a key part of the Australian Federal Government’s aged care policy. If novel ways of supporting carers can be found, then the financial and social benefits flowing from terminally ill people being able to be cared for at home will benefit not only the particular individuals involved, but health and social institutions Australia-wide. This occurs through the incorporation of the patient, primary caregiver, the family and their support networks into the plan of care (Sepulveda et al 2002). The research completed in depth interviews with in home palliative care providers of varied age and gender (n= 21). A fine grained analysis of carer’s speech as they accounted for their experiences of caring identified a symbiotic relationship between carer and patient in context of their constructions of death and the process of dying. We reflect on a potential additional 'burden' in their perceived protective role and how this interacts with agency support.

Keywords: Support Needs of Carers, Palliative Care
Stream: Anthropology, Archaeology, Cultural Studies, Humanities
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English

Dr Andrew M. Guilfoyle

SENIOR LECTURER, School of Psychology and Social Sciences, Edith Cowan University
Perth, WA, Australia

Dr Andrew Guilfoyle has a PhD in Social Psychology and is a methodologist experienced in qualitative research designs and Lecturing in research methods. Andrew’s research has focused on improving health services, community well being and quality of life.

Dr. Colleen Fisher

Senior Lecturer, Public Health, University of Western Australia
Perth, WA, Australia

Dr. Moira O’Connor

Senior Research Fellow, Public Health, Curtin University
Perth, WA, Australia

Ref: I08P0891