- A woman who was allegedly stalked by a man who went on to start a deadly nursing home fire has given evidence at an inquest in Sydney.
- The Grattan Institute’s Dying Well report found 70 per cent of Australians want to die in their homes but only 14 per cent do, with half dying in hospital and a third in residential care.
- Researchers at the University of Sydney are working on a new program to help support young people whose parents have been diagnosed with cancer.
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 1st October 2014. Read by Rebecca Foster.
A woman who was allegedly stalked by a man who went on to start a deadly nursing home fire has given evidence at an inquest in Sydney.
Tracy Sheehan said bolts were screwed into her tyres and paint was splashed on her car when she worked with Roger Dean in 2007.
Dean, a former nurse, was sentenced to life in prison after starting a fire that killed 14 people at the Quakers Hill Nursing Home in Sydney’s north-west in 2011.
An inquest has heard he was an unsupervised registered nurse in charge of a night shift when he deliberately started the fire.
Coroner Hugh Dillon is looking at how Dean had access to drugs, such as the strong painkiller Endone, and claims Dean’s work references were not checked before he was employed by the Domain Principal Group, which ran the home.
Ms Sheehan, who worked with Dean at the St George Hospital Mental Health Unit in 2007, said she documented a range of problems she had with him at work.
She said she first became concerned about Dean’s work after he entered statistics into a patient database before the patients had actually been seen.
Ms Sheehan said Dean did not take the feedback very well and told her he felt she simply did not like him.
The inquest continues.
The majority of Australians are not dying the way they would like to, a new report says, with experts calling for greater public discussion around the benefits of palliative care.
The Grattan Institute’s Dying Well report found 70 per cent of Australians want to die in their homes but only 14 per cent do, with half dying in hospital and a third in residential care.
Dr Hal Swerissen, who co-authored the report, said more Australians are dying from old age than they did 60 years ago and our healthcare system has failed to adapt to the change.
“There is increasingly people now dying in old age where 50, 60 years ago, more younger people died and you had a much greater emphasis on the healthcare system intervening at all possible cost,” he said.
“A good death is one where people have the opportunity to die with dignity and where they have control over the circumstances,” he said.
The report found dying in Australia is more institutionalised than in most other countries.
It calls for more public discussion on the issue, as well as an expansion of community-based palliative care to give people the best chance of dying well.
The report said doubling the number of people who die at home will cost $237 million a year, but the same amount of institutional care funds could be released to pay for it.
Dr MacLeod said overall a great deal of money would be saved if more people died at home.
Young people whose parents have been diagnosed with cancer may soon benefit from a new support program being developed at the University of Sydney.
Researchers at the University of Sydney are working on a new program to help support young people whose parents have been diagnosed with cancer.
Pandora Patterson, associate professor of cancer support group CanTeen, says about 23,000 young people are affected by a parent’s cancer diagnosis every year, and findings show it can be particularly distressing for teenagers.
CanTeen is now working on the research, which will see an eight-week program developed to help support young people.
Kate White, a professor of Cancer Nursing at the University of Sydney, said breaking the news to children can be difficult for parents.
Professor White found levels of emotional stress were four to six times higher in those whose parents were diagnosed than in an age-matched population.
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