One of our Melbourne based Workshop Facilitators, Julie Cowley, has just completed two days of training for 37 Polish speaking Volunteers as ‘Life Story’ autobiographers using our resources. Read more here: Everyone has a story to tell: A Victorian Polish Palliative Care Approach.

The Polish Community Council of Victoria have professionally trained staff and volunteers in a Palliative Care Project which provides culturally appropriate services to address the needs and challenges faced by their Polish-speaking clients with a life-limiting illness, their carers and families. They facilitate community information sessions with bilingual educators about palliative care, advanced care planning, and care for people living with dementia.

Biography Program in Polish language – “Life Storytelling has many benefits including improved mental and spiritual health, greater clarity and perspective of daily life, increased happiness and well-being”, says Janina Dytman, Palliative Care Project Officer.

Each client can spend one-on-one time on a regular basis with an active and engaged listener. Experiences and memories of the past are kept alive and transcribed into Life Journals, a wonderful gift for them and their families.

Conversations about care in Polish language – Janina and Borzena Iwanowski, CEO Polish Community Council of Victoria have taken the conversations to a broader level.

“It is important for people in the community to discuss their wishes for the final stages of their life. This includes accommodation choices, how they wish to put their affairs in order, end of life care and how they would like to be remembered.”

Spending time reflecting on your life journey provides a natural segue into the more challenging conversations regarding your future. The ‘Your Life Wishes’ cards & booklet encourage discussions about choices as you age and your health care preferences. Other topics are seniors accommodation choices, powers of attorney, making a Will, preferred funeral arrangements and how you would like to be remembered.

The conversations are not easy. To help families, staff and volunteers in aged care and health services break the ice, the Polish Community Council of Victoria uses aids including Your Life Talks Conversation Starter cards with the accompanying booklets called ‘My Life Journal’ & ‘Memo of Wishes’.

Family members, support groups, caregivers & volunteers can all play a part – for free detailed subject matter research across our Future Ageing Plan (FAP) topics, please visit: Your Life – Information & Assistance.

Our resources are currently available in Chinese, Vietnamese, Polish & Spanish with more languages becoming available soon.