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employees, who can become desensitised
to death, a resident's loved ones, who are
going through a very sensitive time, and
other residents, he says.
"A key part to that is providing timely,
and clear and honest information as it is
unfolds... People don't want to say the
words that someone is dying; or someone
has died but it is really important to be
clear about those things," Binder tells AAA.
Their process also includes
opportunities for staff to debrief, he says.
"Often staff will talk with other staff
about how they are feeling following the
death of a resident. We also have free
professional counselling services available
for staff, volunteers and resident families
following a death."
The employee projects are being led by
champions and aim to come up with ways
of showing that the organisation cares as
well as help families through the process,
Binder says. An idea from a staff member
and volunteer already to emerge is to give
new residents a quilt when they arrive.
"They will use that quilt all through
their time at the facility. Then when that
person passes away, we give that quilt
as a gift to the family who can then keep
the quilt as a reminder of their loved
one," he says.
In terms of meeting the needs of other
residents, Binder says they have a get-
together after a resident has died, but
one of the employee projects is exploring
further ways residents can say goodbye. n
dying at home, who
usually leaves in an
open manner, which
kicks the community
into action with
notes of condolence,
flowers, offers of help
or prepared meals.
care facility is a
should be able to be
mobilised when one of
their fellow residents is dying or has died
just like a geographical community is."
In addition to saying goodbye, it gives
residents an opportunity to talk about their
own fears and be reassured about what will
happen after they die, Carlile says.
Bryan Lipmann, CEO of Wintringham
Specialist Aged Care, which provides aged
care services for older homeless people in
Victoria, says this is an important process
at their facilities.
Most residents at Wintringham's six
aged care facilities don't have families,
says Lipmann, but when a resident dies,
the Wintringham family holds a service.
"We just gather around. We have a
terrific celebrant who will talk. We just tell
stories," Lipmann tells AAA.
"We look around and there is no
one there but staff and residents. It's
important that all the residents know that
they will be remembered; when it is their
turn that this will happen to them."
Carlile believes the
key reason things are
not done well is that
staff often do not
know how to have
death and dying with
people in the facility,
or even to talk about
their own feelings
"How can you expect staff to facilitate
conversations when they can't even talk
about it themselves," she asks.
Dealing with death is not covered
adequately in nurse or personal care
worker education, says Carlile, who
encourages organisations to invest in
skilling their staff.
Jason Binder, CEO of Island Care in
Tasmania, called on Carlile to help his
organisation improve how death is dealt
with at its three aged care facilities.
In addition to training from Carlile,
Island Care's $100,000 investment
included compulsory workshops for all
350 staff, new policies and procedures,
and ongoing employee projects tasked
with finding ways to improve processes
around the death of resident.
The training, which was completed at
the end of 2015, focused on a good death
for a resident, which includes a multi-
faceted approach that also aims to help
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