Social work and end-of-life care

Social work is important in end-of-life care

Archive for June 2013

Russian soldiers memorialised in a small town in Poland

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DSCF1951Another of my memorials – here is a slightly strange one. I was reminded of it this week visiting Opole, the university, administrative and market town in Silesia, South Poland, that I’ve been visiting every so often to work at the university.

Just by the University you find this memorial to Russian soldiers who died there during the war, maintained but not exactly visited now that Poland is not part of the Soviet-influenced part of Europe.

But a striking memory of an important past to a generation that will soon die out, and one that is less familiar that the various national graveyards from the first and second world wars in Western Europe.

Written by Malcolm Payne

28 June 2013 at 12:45 pm

Try making a self-care plan for yourself or service users and carers

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Social-Work-Tech-Self-Care-PlanSocial Work Tech’s Ignacio Pacheco produces a nice format for making a self-care plan – for thinking about how you can look after yourself against the stresses of life. You can do it yourself or give it to service users and their carers. It’s usefully simple and clear, and you can use it on paper or on a flipchart of chalkboard. The website (Social Work Tech) has a short video explaining it and other information. You can download the document in various formats.

Link to Social Work Tech website.

Written by Malcolm Payne

25 June 2013 at 10:34 am

Child visitors in adult care facilities- think it through

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130620 Jimmy S advice

Should celebrities be treated any differently to volunteer fundraisers who don’t have celebrity status? Why? What privileges (if any) should they be granted? Why?

This is a quotation from advice issued by a London firm of lawyers, which has several pages of questions that organisations ought to think about to make sure their policy and practices robust if they might have a Jimmy Savile in their midst. There is a review of NHS policy going on, conducted by a barrister, Kate Lampard – NHS staff can make comment to her on safeguarding, governance, celebrities and complaints and whistle-blowing: link below.

But since many voluntary organisations and many other caring bodies have celebrity involvement from time to time, their managements should be thinking about how they should handle problems that might arise. And that has implications for general safeguarding, volunteering and staff arrangements.

All hospices and care homes have children around from time to time, but they are mainly geared up for adults, and may not have thought too clearly about their responsibilities for safeguarding children who are visiting relatives.  Adults who are responsible for the children might well be stressed and coping with all sorts of pressures at the time. It’s all too easy to assume that other visitors to the hospice are good-willed, and leave your child in the waiting room or visitors lounge. But what if a visitor to a hospice mentioned to a member of staff that they thought it was wrong that another visitor was taking someone’s child off into the garden on their own? Would it be clear what the visitor should do to raise concerns? Would the staff member know what to do? If the staff member were a volunteer in the tea bar, would they know what to do?

Any management of any care facility needs to have thought it through and have appropriate processes and training in place.

Link to the Mills and Reeve legal advice document

Link to Kate Lampard, to make comment (you have to reply be the end of June): lampardcomments@dh.gsi.gov.uk

Written by Malcolm Payne

20 June 2013 at 12:56 pm

Helping people with artificial limbs – useful update

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130617 ProstheticsAn interesting legal article, which looks at prosthetics, artificial limbs to you and me.Although this is basically for lawyers wanting to consider how to make appropriate claims on their clients’ behalves, social workers dealing with disabled people will also find it useful because it tells you about some of the problems that people with prosthetics might need help with. A useful bit of updating.

Apparently these are now so sophisticated that many people cannot get full use out of them, and whether they can use the most up-to-date possibilities is affected by other aspects of their medical condition. While people often claim for the most up-to-date technology, they are may well be better off with older stuff.

Link to article

Written by Malcolm Payne

19 June 2013 at 12:19 pm

Canada on assisted suicide: documents and reports

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130618 Canada assisted suicideThe Quebec Parliament is considering assisted suicide at the moment, and I have created for my own use a listing of documents, and thought you might like access. It’s on Flipboard, and if you click on the link, you will see a series of panels. Click on the one you want to read and when it comes up on your screen in a dialogue box, click to go to the reading.

There’s a CBC news item from 13th June, explaining, as you would expect, that there is considerable political debate.

A good starting point is the Parliament of Canada report on assisted suicide from 1995, ‘Of life and death’.

There’s an update on this from June 2000, ‘Quality end-of-life Care’, which majors on the role of palliative care.

‘End-of-life decision-making in Canada’ is the report of a Royal Society of Canada expert panel; one of the assets of this is a good list of definitions.

There’s also a chapter from an online textbook ‘The Canadian Bioethics Companion’, which looks at a wider range of end-of-life issues.

Link to the Flipboard listing

Written by Malcolm Payne

18 June 2013 at 3:10 pm

Memorials among the fishes

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130617 Eternal reefsThis is another (American) way of creating a memorial for someone who has died: you have an environmentally-friendly concrete doodad sunk in the sea with your ashes and a plaque, which fishes and coral can inhabit and grow on. The website, under ‘family resources’ also has sensible brief words of guidance for families going through a dying process.

Link to ‘Eternal Reefs’ website.

Written by Malcolm Payne

18 June 2013 at 12:02 pm

Human Rights of unaccompanied migrant children

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Written by Malcolm Payne

17 June 2013 at 4:16 pm

Posted in children, social work

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