A Coffs Harbour project designed to assist families and carers cope with the death of non-cancer patients will go ahead following the announcement of a $30,000 grant from the Bananacoast Community Credit Union.
The Aged Services Learning and Research Collaboration (ASLaRC), a joint venture between the Southern Cross University and the University of New South Wales School of Rural Health, will carry out the project.
ASLaRC director, Professor Jim Curran, said there was growing support for cancer sufferers and their families, but when non-cancer patients died there was little support or time allowed to grieve.
Professor Curran said when a resident of a nursing home died of kidney failure or a heart attack the bed was quite often given to a new resident within the day.
“The project will work with the local care providers, institutional and domiciliary, to define the best treatment pathways, management protocols and educational tools to enable carers at all levels to cope comfortably with the many issues involved,” Professor Curran said.
As part of the project a booklet will be produced outlining the needs of different cultures, such as Aborigines and Sikhs, when dealing with death.
“We need a set of guidelines for staff as to what the major religious and cultural groups expect to happen at, and after, a death. Jews and Catholics have very different expectations as to how the body will be dealt with. Middle Eastern Islamic women react very differently to Italian matrons, while Aboriginal cultures vary as to whether the name of the dead can be spoken.”
Professor Curran said a dedicated research officer or a post-graduate student would be selected to carry out the project.
The Bananacoast Community Credit Union chairman of directors, Mr Bill Singleton, said that the $30,000 grant was an initial contribution and was a pre-cursor to the Credit Union establishing the Bananacoast Community Credit Union Foundation.
It is expected the foundation will be constituted in the 2003/2004 financial year and will initially be funded with a contribution from the Credit Union of $200,000.
“We hope that depending on trading results each year further transfers will be made to grow the foundation,” Mr Singleton said. “We also hope to open the Foundation for Credit Union members and other philanthropic and interested parties to make contributions.”
“The establishment of this foundation is a tangible display of our commitment to the economic and physical well-being of people in this region.”
(SEE FEATURE STORY ON THIS SITE ABOUT ASLaRC)
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