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Antea Worldwide Palliative Care Conference

Rome, 12-14 November 2008

ABSTRACT FORM

Presenting author FAMILYS WITHOUT NETS: BUILDING A PATH OF ACCOMPANYMENT AND
SUPPORT FOR MOURNING IN PALLIATIVE CARE
Giampiero Genovese
Email: Authors (max 6, presenting author included): Giampiero Genovese
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Phone The greater part of families followed during the assistance of a family member with a terminal
illness do not explicitly request support during the anticipated mourning period.
Whereas this might suggest therefore the presence of family sharing and adequate community
Mobile phone support, the direct experience of caregivers seems to suggest a different reality.
The sensation of those involved in Palliative Care, social-sanitary workers and volunteers, is often
that of finding themselves in the home of Ivàn Ilìch – the Tolstoy character – who discovers not
only that he is physically ill, but that, unexpectedly, he is also quite alone in his journey of
Please underline the most spiritual and existential suffering.
appropriate category for your But it is not only the terminally ill individual who feels alone; it is often also the family, within
abstract which it is difficult to express and share emotions.
With respect to the related community, the families seem to be suspended in a void, without
• Pain and other symptoms
support nets to sustain them: within our society there seem to be not only architectural barriers,
• Palliative care for cancer patients but also social barriers regarding mourning and death.
• Palliative care for non cancer For this very reason, Antea began a support service for mourning in 2004 for the relatives of
patients patients and began developing self-help groups open to the community.
• Paediatric palliative care The information survey taken during the National Convention on mourning in Rome in March of
• Palliative care for the elderly
2007, has allowed for awareness to emerge regarding the diffused sense of abandonment and lack
of support in this particular phase of life.
• The actors of palliative care
This work – done through interviews and videos – offers stimuli for reflection regarding the
• Latest on drugs importance of continued family assistance after the death of a patient. It proposes a path of
• Pain accompaniment counselling and organized support for mourning, designed with a self-help
approach, which gives value to the relationships built during the period of assistance, and which
• Illness and suffering through interacts, with equal dignity, with the terminally ill individual, his or her family members, and
media the members of the caregiving team.
• Marginalisation and social stigma
at the end of life
• Palliative care advocacy projects

• Prognosis and diagnosis
communication in
different cultures
• Communication between doctor-
patient and patient-
equipe
• Religions and cultures versus
suffering, death and
bereavement
• Public institution in the world:
palliative care policies
and law
• Palliative care: from villages to metropolies

• Space, light and gardens for the terminally ill patient
• End-of-life ethics
• Complementary therapies Session: Bereavement support
• Education, training and research
• Fund-raising and no-profit Chair of the session: G.B. Brunjes
• Bereavement support
• Volunteering in palliative care
• Rehabilitation in palliative care