Living, loving, dying: Insights into rural compassion.Aust J Rural Health 2019; 27(4):328-335AJ
To improve understandings of the enablers and barriers to maintaining good quality of life for people dying, caring and grieving in rural areas.
DESIGN AND SETTING
In-depth interviews designed on participatory research principles were held with bereaved carers living in a small community in rural Tasmania. Participants had cared for someone until their death within the 3-year period prior.
Nineteen participants comprising 18 bereaved former carers and one person with a life-limiting illness, and all but four were over retirement age.
To explore experiences of end-of-life care in a rural community.
Participants discussed the challenges they experienced during end-of-life caring, including transport into the city for treatment, and access to basic and specialised services. However, they also reported positive aspects of formal and informal palliative care, and described experiences of personable, expert, flexible and innovative caregiving.
The rural location enabled personalised and innovative expressions of care. This research adds new insight into rural end-of-life palliation, as a complex intersection of supererogation, innovation and place-driven care.