Providing care for very frail elderly people, how to care better for people dying in hospital and how best to treat symptoms like pain and fatigue and promote quality of life are also be on the agenda at the 21st anniversary conference – Palliative care: population and people.
Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care director, Mark Hazelwood, said: “People in Scotland are living longer, which is great news. But everyone will die eventually and it is important that they get the care they need towards the end of life.
“People are dying at an older age, often with more than one illness. That presents new and complicated challenges for services – we need to continue to adapt and evolve to meet these changing needs.”
From the growing population of frail elderly people to the science of individual symptoms the conference will provide a broad variety of challenging and highly relevant perspectives.
This year’s highlights also include lessons from Ireland on palliative care in hospitals, spiritual care in tough times, challenges in non-malignant disease, a historical take on death and dying in Scotland and an interactive reflection on recent progress.
Speakers include Dr Ros Beattie, consultant in palliative medicine, Prof Jane Seymour, Sue Ryder Care Professor in Palliative and End of Life Studies at Nottingham University, Prof Sam Ahmedzai, Professor in Palliative Medicine at Sheffield University, Dr Elizabeth Ireland, national clinical lead for palliative care and Rev Dr Ewan Kelly, programme director for Healthcare Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care.
The conference will finish with a premiere of the film ‘At home with illness’, in which people with advanced disease and their families talk about things which matter to them, and an update on Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief by chair Kate Lennon.
The conference was timed to coincide with World Hospice and Palliative Care Day (13 October) with its theme of palliative care for an aging population.