Carers in the Grampians

The Grampians Regional Palliative Care Team commissioned a set of interviews and photographic portraits of people in the Grampians region who cared for a family member receiving palliative care at home.

Photographed while talking openly about their parents, partners, siblings and children, the ten participants reveal what it’s like to hear that there is nothing more the medical community can do for a member of their family. They discuss the impact that had on their family member in palliative care, and on themselves.

This set of ten photographic portraits with text reveals some of the joys as well as some of the challenges of caring for someone you love who is receiving palliative care. It also reveals how the participants deal with death, and with grief. They share the benefits and difficulties of looking after their family members at home, and acknowledge how the experience has changed them.


Distribution
The material has been published in a free booklet available within the region. Four thousand copies were printed, and have been distributed to the local palliative care services that were instrumental in reaching the participants involved with the project.

There will be exhibitions of the material in art galleries in Victoria, commencing with an exhibition at the Ararat Regional Art Gallery from the 1st November 2016.

The community will also be reached by a set of posters designed for display at field days, farmers markets, libraries, and community centres.

The initial release of the book and two of the stories on Facebook via Palliative Matters has reached over 20,000 people in a week, had 2,000 clicks and 600 reactions.

The work will be exhibited at the Ararat Regional Art Gallery from the 1st November to the 5th December 2016. The launch, open to the public, will be on Wednesday November 9th at 2pm.
Ararat Regional Art Gallery website

This project was commissioned by the Grampians Regional Palliative Care Team, and funded by the Grampians Region Palliative Care Consortium.
Grampians Regional Palliative Care Team
Grampians Region Palliative Care Consortium


Media
WIN News TV segment
Book launch – Palliative Care Australia
Kylie’s story – Palliative Care Australia
Nola’s story – Palliative Care Australia

Community Support
There was a lack of regionally specific stories of carers of patients in palliative care. Specific issues such as isolation and distance from official support services, and a stronger local community mean that friends, neighbours and family often step into the gap. This project is designed to offer contextual support to reduce isolation of the carers by providing personal and honest accounts from carers in the same situation and region.

The project has the capacity to reduce carers’ feelings of isolation therefore reduce bereavement risk. The project will ensure that local people know how to access local supports, and will build capacity in our local communities. The visual tools will provide a reference point for those in the future embarking on a carer role. The series also links the Grampians region to state-wide projects such as The Dreamers, The Two of Us, and Palliative Care Stories 2016, also produced by digital storyteller Pippa Wischer.

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CarersInTheGrampians

Jade Odgers from the Grampians Regional Palliative Care Team, and digital storyteller Pippa Wischer discuss the project’s goals. Two of the participants, Nola and Maddie, discuss their involvement in the Carers in the Grampians project, and what it meant to them.

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Kylie, Carers in the Grampians

“He was in my arms when he died, on a sunny day, in his own house that we built. He was looking into my eyes and we lay down. He took his two last breaths and he died in my arms. It was very quick. He’d said his goodbyes, said, “I love you”. It was an intense connection. It was a very powerful moment.” – Kylie

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Carers_Book. Kylie

“It was really important to Bernard and me, and to our children, to have a home death. When it was time, we brought the bed into the lounge room because I said I want people to continue to be around him. He’s going to be part of this. This is a part of life. It’s just a natural process for us.” – Kylie

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Kris, Carers in the Grampians

“We value life and friends more now, and it’s made our relationship stronger. I’m thinking of doing Meals on Wheels, or volunteering somewhere. I just need to get out so I can find my feet and start again.” – Kris

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Carers_Book. Kris

“We value life and friends more now, and it’s made our relationship stronger. I’m thinking of doing Meals on Wheels, or volunteering somewhere. I just need to get out so I can find my feet and start again.” – Kris

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