Home palliative care service celebrates three year partnership with Western Sydney LHD

Silver Chain palliative care nurse Riteshni Prasad, a portrait of Nabela Saada, Nabela’s daughter Diana Saada with her four-month-old son Yazan Kiwan.

“The support the Silver Chain palliative care service gave to my mum and my family will never be forgotten,” said Diana Saada, whose mother Nabela Saaba was supported by the Silver Chain service for two years.

“Mum lived with my husband and my three-week-old son in our family home at Bella Vista where she was more comfortable and was supported by her family,” Diana said.

The 68 year-old grandmother, Nabela was originally diagnosed with lung cancer in 2012 which returned in 2018. She was then told she had three-six months to live.

“I wasn’t aware of these types of services before mum got sick,” Diana said.

“When mum’s condition got worse, the nurses visited her each week to make sure she was OK. These visits did wonders for her mentally and physically.

“Mum was very independent and private and the nurses allowed her to keep her independence for as long as she could.  They not only helped Mum, but they also helped my family.

Silver Chain palliative care nurse Riteshni Prasad, Diana Saada, four-month-old son Yazan Kiwan and a portrait of Diana’s mother, Nabela Saada.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, the nurses would call mum each morning and night to check on her condition and when they visited her at home were always wearing protective gear.

“The Silver Chain service was beyond palliative care – it was a family!”

Sadly, Nabela lost her life to an aggressive form of lung cancer recently after going into remission for six years.

This year, Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) and Silver Chain celebrate three years of partnership providing palliative care services for Western Sydney communities.

The partnership officially began on 3 July 2017 when Silver Chain commenced delivery of its Community Palliative Care Service in the district.

The service resulted from months of collaboration between WSLHD, NSW Office of Social Impact Investment, Silver Chain Group and Ministry of Health.

Silver Chain provides palliative care to patients who have advanced, progressive and life-limiting illnesses who live in Western Sydney, in their home.

The service provides clients and their families with access to an expert multi-disciplinary team for clinical care, practical support for daily activities, counselling and spiritual care, and bereavement support.

Since July 2017, over 2500 patients had been referred to Silver Chain for palliative care services.

Integrated and Community Health director Luke Elias said the elderly population in Western Sydney is living longer and healthier and the need for palliative care services is growing.

“This partnership has been instrumental in enabling us to provide more opportunities for palliative care patients in our community to die in their place of choice,” Luke said.

“Often people who are at their end stage of life prefer to stay in their own home with their loved ones.”

WSLHD hospital liaison nurse and Silver Chain employee Cheryl Pappas said the service has introduced a 24-hour dedicated on-call nursing team who visits patients in their home.

“I’m the person working with the doctors and nurses to support patients into the Silver Chain service,” Cheryl said.

“Palliative care is not always about death and some patients return home for a significant amount of time.  We build trust and rapport with families and patients and it’s a privilege to work so closely with them.”

Palliative Care patients of Western Sydney Local Health District can access Silver Chain service for free.  For further information, call 1300 758 566 or click here.