Submission to the Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children – Public hearing on End-of-Life Care; Bereavement Care

Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10147/305936
Title:
Submission to the Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children – Public hearing on End-of-Life Care; Bereavement Care
Authors:
Keegan, orla
Affiliation:
Irish Hospice Foundation
Publisher:
Irish Hospice Foundation
Issue Date:
7-Nov-2013
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10147/305936
Item Type:
Report
Description:
People’s experience of loss is diverse; bereavement is not a singular issue. Approximately 290,000 people are bereaved each year. Bereavement itself is a risk to health. There are documented mortality links to bereavement, highest in the early period but maintaining over time; and highest for subgroups including widowers and bereaved parents. Physical and psychological illnesses are more common in bereaved than non-bereaved people, and these are accompanied by increased use of health service – including hospitalisations. A ‘public health’ approach to bereavement and loss focuses on education and helping to develop an understanding of loss at community and public level. This increases the chances of people being supported, and feeling supported, through loss. It acknowledges people’s strength and seeks to promote and preserve their capacity to cope with loss. A public health approach anticipates and sets out to avoid problems people may face in coping with bereavement. It looks to develop cross-sector policy frameworks to maintain such health promoting practices. The model focuses on what bereaved people need (information about ‘normal’ grief and coping; practical help, understanding and natural social supports) and seeks to minimize additional stressors (financial hardship and isolation). We need to identify those who may be at heightened risk, whose coping resources are limited – for example, people who are isolated/alone; who have additional challenges in their bereavement such as financial hardship, other caring responsibilities, other personal or interpersonal difficulties. At times the circumstances of a death may merit extra support for those who are bereaved. Interagency approaches are a vital part of a public health approach and the Irish Hospice Foundation contends that a national strategy which focuses on end of life and bereavement must address the issue of coordination and liaison between those agencies working only occasionally with loss and bereavement and those dealing day to day with supporting bereaved people. We believe there are individual and soci-economic costs associated with bereavement. There is little policy guidance on education, service development, funding and standards for bereavement care in Ireland. A common purpose and vision, shared language, agreed practices and training approaches would be a welcome addition to the landscape of bereavement care. We believe there should be strategically-driven training initiatives in end of life and bereavement care – e.g. address undergraduate education gaps around bereavement and loss, not only for our health professionals but for teachers, educators, solicitors and others There are ‘levels’ of bereavement care- general care, volunteer based support and professional or psychotherapeutic services. ‘Level one’ bereavement care includes good end of life care. It also requires practical and emotional support. ‘Level two’ is ‘extra supprot’ a service usually delivered by trained volunteers who have themselves been bereaved. ‘Level three’ is professional and therapeutic supprot required by only a minority of bereaved people. We promote a tiered approach to bereavement care ensuring generic care for all and specialist care for those in need. We believe a National Strategy on End of Life and Bereavement Care could harness the good work being done by many and varied voluntary organisations providing bereavement care; allow for innovative best practice to be nurtured, documented and shared with others involved in bereavement care; - provide clear direction on how voluntary organisations providing Level 2 bereavement care interact with providers at Levels 1 and 3.
Keywords:
BEREAVEMENT; END-OF-LIFE
Local subject classification:
HEALTH POLICY; Ireland

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorKeegan, orlaen_GB
dc.date.accessioned2013-11-29T14:53:20Z-
dc.date.available2013-11-29T14:53:20Z-
dc.date.issued2013-11-07-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10147/305936-
dc.descriptionPeople’s experience of loss is diverse; bereavement is not a singular issue. Approximately 290,000 people are bereaved each year. Bereavement itself is a risk to health. There are documented mortality links to bereavement, highest in the early period but maintaining over time; and highest for subgroups including widowers and bereaved parents. Physical and psychological illnesses are more common in bereaved than non-bereaved people, and these are accompanied by increased use of health service – including hospitalisations. A ‘public health’ approach to bereavement and loss focuses on education and helping to develop an understanding of loss at community and public level. This increases the chances of people being supported, and feeling supported, through loss. It acknowledges people’s strength and seeks to promote and preserve their capacity to cope with loss. A public health approach anticipates and sets out to avoid problems people may face in coping with bereavement. It looks to develop cross-sector policy frameworks to maintain such health promoting practices. The model focuses on what bereaved people need (information about ‘normal’ grief and coping; practical help, understanding and natural social supports) and seeks to minimize additional stressors (financial hardship and isolation). We need to identify those who may be at heightened risk, whose coping resources are limited – for example, people who are isolated/alone; who have additional challenges in their bereavement such as financial hardship, other caring responsibilities, other personal or interpersonal difficulties. At times the circumstances of a death may merit extra support for those who are bereaved. Interagency approaches are a vital part of a public health approach and the Irish Hospice Foundation contends that a national strategy which focuses on end of life and bereavement must address the issue of coordination and liaison between those agencies working only occasionally with loss and bereavement and those dealing day to day with supporting bereaved people. We believe there are individual and soci-economic costs associated with bereavement. There is little policy guidance on education, service development, funding and standards for bereavement care in Ireland. A common purpose and vision, shared language, agreed practices and training approaches would be a welcome addition to the landscape of bereavement care. We believe there should be strategically-driven training initiatives in end of life and bereavement care – e.g. address undergraduate education gaps around bereavement and loss, not only for our health professionals but for teachers, educators, solicitors and others There are ‘levels’ of bereavement care- general care, volunteer based support and professional or psychotherapeutic services. ‘Level one’ bereavement care includes good end of life care. It also requires practical and emotional support. ‘Level two’ is ‘extra supprot’ a service usually delivered by trained volunteers who have themselves been bereaved. ‘Level three’ is professional and therapeutic supprot required by only a minority of bereaved people. We promote a tiered approach to bereavement care ensuring generic care for all and specialist care for those in need. We believe a National Strategy on End of Life and Bereavement Care could harness the good work being done by many and varied voluntary organisations providing bereavement care; allow for innovative best practice to be nurtured, documented and shared with others involved in bereavement care; - provide clear direction on how voluntary organisations providing Level 2 bereavement care interact with providers at Levels 1 and 3.en_GB
dc.publisherIrish Hospice Foundationen_GB
dc.subjectBEREAVEMENTen_GB
dc.subjectEND-OF-LIFEen_GB
dc.subject.otherHEALTH POLICYen_GB
dc.subject.otherIrelanden_GB
dc.titleSubmission to the Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children – Public hearing on End-of-Life Care; Bereavement Careen_GB
dc.typeReporten
dc.contributor.departmentIrish Hospice Foundationen_GB
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