A biennial event, the Australian Palliative Care Conference is the pre-eminent event in Australia for anyone who is interested in quality palliative care at the end of life.
Running from 6-8 September, the event will see speakers like Sally Francis, Arts Coordinator Arts in Health at Flinders Medical Centre, talk about their palliative care experiences and programs.
“Arts in Health is not something most people think of especially for palliative care but it is really important and can have an important role to play in creating a positive end of life experience, especially in what can be a very clinical setting,” Ms Francis says.
The multimedia presentation on the Arts in Health program will include films and music to showcase what the program offers and the difference it makes in the lives of those in palliative care and their families.
“The talk will cover all aspects of the program including the importance of arts in end of life care – whether it be painting, drawing, writing poetry or journals and expressing things that are too difficult to say,” Ms Francis says.
“It will also give attendees a chance to take a look at our End of Life care boxes – or nurture packs – that include sensory things like shells, pebbles to hold and lavender oil to smell and for family to massage on hands for that important physical contact.
“The program is really an addition to the clinical medical care and not just for this particular setting – it’s multidisciplinary.”
Having taken the talk to a number of conferences, including internationally, Ms Francis says she encourages people to attend the event, her talk and others on offer.
“When I take this topic to conferences it is always very well received and there are always quite a few questions and it’s well attended,” she says.
“Coming along to this conference I think offers a chance to expand peoples knowledge base and provide another way of approaching palliative care – one that you may not necessarily be familiar with.
“This is a conference not to be missed – there is a huge diversity of speakers and information on offer which is really exciting.”
Palliative Care Australia Chief Executive Officer Liz Callaghan says that just like Ms Francis, she is excited about the upcoming conference in Adelaide.
“I’m really excited for this conference, there’s going to be more than 800 delegates attending and with so many experts sharing their knowledge, I hope this conference will be inspiring for the palliative care sector,” Ms Callaghan says.
“There’s going to be a big focus on how to connect with the community through using non-health methods.
“We’re very lucky to have leaders like Margaret Ambridge and also Maggie Beer to share their experience of using art and food to connect with people being cared for by health services.
“There’s also a focus on improving services in aged care and in rural areas.
“This conference will truly be a ground-breaking one and I cannot wait to see the effect it has on palliative care and its delivery across Australia.”
The Palliative Care Conference 2017 will run from 6-8 September at the Adelaide Convention Centre.
Find out more about the Arts in Health program and other conference speakers and register online or by visiting pca2017.org.au