Alana Doroppoli is 56 years old. She is an Italian immigrant who has recently been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. Alana is currently being cared for in her own home with palliative care services in home service. Alana has managed all home duties in the past but now finds that, due to the medical treatments she is receiving for the cancer, she is no longer able to manage all the household tasks. Due to tiredness, she is also required to rest for extended periods throughout the day. After six weeks of treatment Alana is bedridden due to the progression of the cancer and the failure of the treatment to halt the disease. Alana is sad as she can no longer cook for and look after her husband and three sons. Alana and her family are also very religious and now Alana can no longer attend her church or take part in community activities connected to her church. As Alana has a life-limiting illness, the health care team plan to make sure her quality of life is maintained as best as possible, and that she is given pain relief when needed. Alana is unable to attend to personal hygiene independently and requires around-the-clock care. The family and the palliative care team make the decision to admit Alana to a hospice facility. They make sure her room resembles her home with familiar photos and her favourite ornaments. They assess Alana and prepare a care plan. Alana also prepares advance care directives when she is first admitted. All team members are made aware of these plans. Alana’s sons say they don’t want their mother to be given morphine but Alana’s doctor explains to the family the benefits of morphine to manage Alana’s pain. The doctor arranges a family conference so everyone is informed and the team can work out how best to support family members and carers. Mai is the day-shift worker. She has only just started working in a palliative care environment. She knows that her job is to provide support to the client, family members and carers by listening to them, getting to know them and respecting their wishes. She provides leaflets to family members and carers about cancer. She also tells them about cancer support groups for family members
Identify and outline how Alana’s needs have changed over time.
List two communication strategies that a support worker should use to encourage Alana and her family to share information as part of the team, regarding needs and preferences for planning end-of-life care.
List two factors that support sharing of information between care workers and the family/carer and the person accessing the service to provide care to meet changing needs and preferences.
Why is it important to be non-judgmental with Alana and her family when communicating about lifestyle, spiritual, social and cultural needs and choices?
How can Mai encourage and support the family/carers to discuss spiritual and cultural issues in an open and safe environment within their scope of practice?
Identify two examples of care that falls outside the role of the personal support worker in palliative care.
How can the palliative care team show Alana and her family empathy and emotional support?