“Let me know if I can HELP”: A new App now available for social and practical care coordination at end of life
A new App for social and practical care coordination at end of life called HELP (Healthy End of Life Planning) has been launched by La Trobe University’s Public Health Palliative Care unit. HELP aims to do just that – help families by simplifying the act of asking for and accepting help with the goal of making a positive and meaningful difference to the wellbeing of everyone involved.
La Trobe University’s Public Health Palliative Care unit Director Dr Andrea Grindrod, who conducted the HELP research and developed the App, has personal experience of end-of-life care. Her husband, Greg Rumbold, recently received a stage 4 metastatic prostate cancer diagnosis.
When Greg began chemotherapy, Andrea knew she had to accept help. On top of work commitments, her young adult son was about to start a new job that required him to reach a certain level of fitness – and get his driver’s licence – in a short period of time.
“If I could have done it all myself, I would’ve, but people kept saying “let me know if I can help”,” Andrea said, “so I practised accepting and asking for help instead. Over time, it became easier. Then normal. I could see that people wanted to help – in fact, they had all along. They were very happy to have something to contribute. And of course, I knew this from our research.”
Help arrived. In stepped a roster of cousins, aunts and uncles taking Andrea and Greg’s son for daily driving lessons (and several big feeds post-workout!).
“He came home with great stories that lifted our spirits and made us laugh,” Andrea said. “That he was being fed and supported like this was comforting for Greg and me.”
The HELP App offers targeted information and education to enable healthy end-of-life care networks. Building this everyday support around people, along with expert health and palliative care, can make the world of difference. Reducing stress on individuals and families – and on the health system at large.
The HELP Program will further partner with the palliative and end-of-life care sector in 2023, generating community-based data at a national, state and local level – providing insights into the informal care taking place inside people’s homes. If you’d like to partner with the program, contact email@example.com