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Concurrent Session (Oxley Room)

Chair: Toni Bradley

a. With your basket and my basket the people will thrive

Viviana Fon

Nāku te rourou, nāu te rourou, ka ora ai te iwi.
(With your basket and my basket the people will thrive.)
Enhancing social connectedness to promote whānau (family) and community resilience in bereavement.

Most people successfully integrate loss into their lives with support of family and their informal networks. Moeke–Maxwell et al (2014) highlights whānau resiliency around end of life issues is sustained through cultural values, connection and reciprocity. A compassionate community approach focuses on growing capacity within the wider community to respond effectively to loss, grief and bereavement. Some groups, such as children and Māori and Pasifika, can experience significant barriers to accessing support. A key starting point to enhancing community resilience and compassion is asking: “Whose voices are not being heard?”
This presentation will explore the interweaving of community, hospice and key partners, through culturally relevant and accessible bereavement support initiatives aimed at increasing resiliency of children and extended family. Activities incorporating creative memory keeping and tree planting provided opportunities for strengthening intergenerational sharing and informal community networks.

Outcomes included:
• Facilitating accessible, community based, and culturally relevant healing spaces.
• Increased resiliency for children and growing capacity within whānau and community.
• The emergence of self-sustaining support networks.
• Listening to families and observing ‘gaps’ as opportunities for innovation.
• Strengthening hospice collaboration and partnership with key providers to create service sustainability.
• Nurturing connections, with greater understanding of our community and future service directions.

Attendees may reflect on cultural health literacy, intergenerational and community resources to promote a compassionate community response to loss, grief and bereavement.

b. Understanding the impact of sibling death as a child living in the family home

Dr Amy Funk

Background and Aims
The death of a child has important implications for surviving siblings. Sibling death has been referred to as “double loss” because the sibling relationship has been lost and the parental relationship is disrupted. Sibling grief has been linked to poor physical and mental health outcomes. Child grievers are at a particular disadvantage to understand and cope with death. Sibling grief has been identified as an under researched loss, with significant gaps in need of future study.

Aim 1: Identify the shared themes in this type of sibling bereavement.
Aim 2: Identify the impact of this type of sibling death on the surviving sibling and family.
Aim 3: Identify any supports that helped child grievers to process the death.

A subset of data will be analyzed from my original study on sibling grief, based on 27 interviews with sibling grievers, aged 3-61 years at the time of sibling death. This proposed secondary analysis will focus on subset data from siblings who were children living in the family home at the time of sibling death (seven participants). The study will use the qualitative paradigm of phenomenology to guide the research design and data analysis.

This data analysis will be concluded and findings developed by September of 2019 and prepared for dissemination at PHPCI 2019. The presentation will include themes of this lived experience, with a focus on the impact of the child and family and positive supports that helped with the grieving process.

This presentation will shed light on this neglected grief experience. The application goals for this oral presentation are to enhance an understanding of the experience of child sibling grief, the impact of the loss on the child and family, and stimulate discussion on positive supports for child sibling grievers.

c. Is there a role for the funeral service provider in bereavement support within the context of Compassionate Communities?

Prof. Samar Aoun

Background: This study is the first to offer the perspectives of bereaved individuals in the context of funeral service consumption, with the aim to improve community based bereavement support in Australia and elsewhere.

Approach: A national postal survey was conducted with 839 next of kins who were bereaved 6-24 months before the survey, facilitated by six funeral service providers in four Australian states.

Objectives: To examine bereaved individuals’ experiences with funeral service providers; to understand the most and least helpful aspects of their service interactions; and to identify if funeral service providers have a role to play in bereavement support.

Findings: Funeral service providers were reported to be the third most accessed form of bereavement support after friends and family. Analyses revealed six major themes related to perceived helpfulness including instrumental support, professionalism, informational support, financial tension, communication and emotional support. Respondents’ suggestions for funeral service providers to improve their support of the bereaved included adopting a proactive approach to bereavement needs and offering personalised and ongoing support.

Conclusions: Funeral service providers have a role to play in bereavement support as one of the community-based assets proposed by the Public Health Model for Bereavement Support and for building community capacity around death, dying and bereavement as proposed by the Compassionate Communities Concept. Re-framing the role of the funeral industry within such international movements may help it to adequately respond to market and cultural changes that have affected the role of this industry.

d. Compassionate Ottawa: Volunteers are mobilizing a social movement for community caring

Dr Mary Lou Kelley

Background: This presentation shares the experience of Compassionate Ottawa (CO), launched in 2016. Dynamic volunteers are working towards making Ottawa a compassionate community following the Compassionate City Charter (Kellehear). CO is mobilizing an innovative, community-driven approach collaboratively with the health system to improve quality of life for people living with frailty and end-of- life issues.

Aims: To be a leader in building a social model of care across Ottawa to help individuals, their families, friends and caregivers as they deal with dying, death and grieving. Priorities are raising awareness (workshops and public presentations); engaging and empowering citizens and community partners; and facilitating education and training of CO volunteers and citizens.

Actions: Partnerships have been forged with seniors’ groups, faith groups, schools, workplaces, health and social care organizations and palliative care groups. Initiatives are: facilitating community conversations fostering death literacy and advance care planning; engaging schools, workplaces and faith groups to provide social support with dying, death and grieving; inspiring and supporting grass roots initiatives; and facilitating education and training for volunteers and citizens. Volunteer teams deliver initiatives and community interest is very strong.

Outcomes: Multiple community programs have been offered. CO created a logic model, communication and evaluation plans, established credibility with health system partners and established needed infrastructure (website, part time administrative staff) with financial support from donations and funding proposals. CO is legally incorporated as a non-profit organization.

Conclusions and application to PHPC: Compassionate Ottawa’s approach offers a unique model for a successful, volunteer and community-driven approach to mobilize social change. The presentation provides an overview of CO’s development process, current structure, initiatives, programs, and short-term outcomes. CO’s work is now respected and supported by health professionals. Participants can use this information to inspire and guide their own efforts to develop a public health approach to palliative care.