Boldly Choosing to Die at Home….Alone

Ms Helen Jarman

The District Nurses, Moonah, TAS


hospice@HOME (h@H) provides in-home palliative care for people with life-limiting illness. People who live alone, who wish to die at home, particularly the elderly, may face more barriers in achieving their wish. Clients may require additional support and resources, and health professionals face more ethical and moral dilemmas.
Utilising h@H data (N= 2,481) those that live alone (with or without carer support) (n=512) are 1.5 times less likely to die at home compared to their counterparts. We investigate how living arrangement can impact decisions to stay at home. Analysis of client service provision alongside nurse reflections help unravel the professional challenges when caring for those living alone who wish to die at home, including community-based funding, patient safety issues and professional distress that lead to institutional admissions. Emphasis is placed on the h@H collaborative team approach with care co-ordination to improve delivery of services and enable patients living alone to access support at home for their end of life.

The presentation/topic will be of interest to Conference participants who are: Providers of palliative care and professionals working with those at end of life or for those caring for the suddenly unwell or dying who may not have had planning support.

Helen is currently CNM h@H South. Helen previously worked for 15years with Specialist palliative Care Services at St Vincents Brisbane and Metro South Qld Health working closely with local community services. Prior to this she worked as a Clinical Nurse in the Community with Blue Care in Brisbane, and RDNS Adelaide. She has a keen interest in developing funded community services for the palliative care community that enables clients and carers to have a choice in their place of death. Helen has been working with the h@H project since it commenced in Nov 2013.

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