With the debate on assisted suicide polarising the community, Cooinda Aged Care have a better perspective than most.
Following our recent article on the Victorian Government’s proposed assisted suicide legislation we spoke with Cooinda Aged Care chief executive and head of nursing Margaret Aldous to understand how the current system works.
While death is not a subject encountered on a personal level by most people with any regularity, staff and carers associated with Cooinda discuss the matter with all residents.
Ms Aldous says each new resident is asked to complete an Advanced Care Plan, which provides them with the opportunity to express their end-of-life wishes.
‘‘We encourage each person to discuss these wishes with their family and their doctor if appropriate,’’ Ms Aldous said.
‘‘In this way the individual’s choices and wishes are clear to all from admission.
‘‘The advanced care plan is holistic.
‘‘It includes choices and wishes that encompasses medical intervention or support as well as cultural, spiritual and emotional goals for end of life.
‘‘At Cooinda we aim to ensure that each person’s end of life is a peaceful experience, respecting the individual’s wishes and ensuring their family’s needs are understood and respected.’’
When the time comes that a resident does require end-of-life care Cooinda ensures they receive the best possible palliative assistance.
This consists of ensuring there is early identification of any problems, the careful assessment and treatment of pain and other symptoms, physical, psychological, and spiritual.