With the increasing number of elderly people living longer, chronic diseases, and people in need of palliative care, more and more people will need a continuous monitoring and care throughout the rest of their life. And in Thai culture, most of these patients prefer to receive supportive care at home, among their family.
However, one of the challenges we are facing is that caregivers still lack adequate knowledge and skills to take care of their loved one properly.
Therefore this workshop was held in order to:
- train the caregivers or those who are interested the basic skills needed to take care of palliative care patients at home; and
- prepare patients and the family before the terminal phase of life.
More than 60 caregivers joined this workshop which was facilitated by a multidisciplinary team comprised of nurses, volunteers and legal advisers.
Participants went through basic training in caring for the patients, such as wound cleaning, how to prevent pressure sores, etc.
Apart from the basic training, participants were also exposed to other aspects of palliative care, such as: the trajectory of the disease, the changing mood of terminally ill patients, communications among the family, advance care planning, and legal issues.
So far, the feedback so far has been overwhelmingly positive. Participants reflected that more sessions need to be held for the larger appeal, and also that the programme needs to extend to other districts, since some participants have to travel from a very far distance in order to reach the workshop in the capital.
Apart from that, the team commented that Thai people already have good exposure to the concept of a ‘good death’ and are eager to learn more. The once death-is-a-taboo-topic attitude has already died down a lot. However, a new arising challenge is how to extend and implement the knowledge and skills to the larger public instead.
Supported by Thai Health Promotion Foundation, this is one of many sub-projects of Peaceful Death Project.
To find out more, please visit the Peaceful Death Project website.