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Melbourne’s Spanish Latin American and Ethiopian communities gear up for palliative focus

What if the end-of-life years offered cultural connection, support and friendship for frail aged people? What if volunteers were skilled to support carers and families during the stressful period of caring?

Improving quality of life is a focus for services provided by Spanish Latin American Welfare Service United and Saint Michael’s Ethiopian Orthodox Church under new palliative support capacity building projects.

Supporting community members with life limiting illness

Over the past year, United and Saint Michael’s have worked closely with PCV to facilitate community information sessions for seniors’ groups and faith leaders. Both indicated an interest in taking steps to do more to support people with a life limiting illness and their families in their communities. United already supports seniors’ groups and provides home visit programs. Saint Michael’s recognized the need to support their frail, isolated elders with life limiting illness.

Building capacity to meet identified needs

The community groups aim to build volunteer capacity to offer psycho-social support to frail community members with an incurable illness and to ensure adequate supervision, training and debriefing opportunities are in place to sustain the work. Similar work is already taking place in the South East through the Serbian Community Association of Australia.

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