Some Musings on Care for the Elderly in General Practice

Dr Aine McCoy
Issue 12, April 2004

Many of my elderly patients tell me that it is no fun getting old. My standard reply is that the alternative isn't that great either!

The elderly present us with many challenges medically, socially and spiritually, but my experience in providing care to them has been an enjoyable one. I have come to appreciate some of the things that the elderly value in their carers. These include being a good listener, having a sense of humour, being there for continuity of care, being treated with respect and having their opinions valued, especially when they do not accord with yours.

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Stepping Out Into Aged Care - Acknowledging Possibility

Dr Bernard Leuthart
Issue 12, April 2004

The potent imagery of the dance is fascinating for the rich storehouse of metaphor it offers for elaborating on the type of movement potentiated in the work of the caring ministries. American educator, Maria Harris draws here on the wisdom of one Bill Maroon – a student of haiku somewhere - who offered this potent snippet as a metaphor for the sort of interaction that happens in the teaching moment between the learner and the learned.

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The Hospice Movement in New Zealand - 25 Years On

Michael McCabe
Issue 13, August 2004

In June 1979 New Zealand's first hospice, Mary Potter Hospice, was opened in Wellington. Later that year, Te Omanga Hospice in Lower Hutt, and Saint Joseph's Mercy Hospice in Auckland, were also opened. Just twelve years earlier, Saint Christopher's Hospice in London, symbolically referred to as the first modern hospice, was opened.

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The Voice of Your Despair

Rod MacLeod
Issue 13, August 2004

"Can I see another's woe and not be in sorrow too?
Can I see another's grief and not seek for kind relief?"

William Blake's words must surely strike a chord with all those who have followed the trial and subsequent conviction of Lesley Martin for the attempted murder of her mother, Joy. Sadly Joy Martin, an apparently private and dignified woman has had her illness, suffering and death made widely known to the New Zealand public and beyond. The trial process necessarily investigated all aspects of her initial presentation to hospital, subsequent management and the ensuing months of pain, nausea, vomiting, isolation and distress. Those who have read the deposition hearing documents, Lesley Martin's own account of events in her book and the hundreds of pages of evidence given at the trial in Wanganui in March of this year cannot fail to be moved by this harrowing account of one woman's journey through illness towards death.

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