Left: Dr Helen-Anne Manion OAM
Right: Gerard Manion OAM
DYING AT HOME is the revival of the coordinated involvement of community in a compassionate response to the appeal for support and education of those caring for a person of any age with a terminal illness dying in their own home.
During a four year study and research visit to USA in the mid- ‘seventies, Helen-Anne studied medical oncology, her husband, Gerard, developed a program that addressed the personal aspects of cancer – the patient’s mind, will, spirit, emotions – an intensive programme aimed at mobilizing the life forces. Returning to Australia in 1977 they worked together providing their Cancer Care Program. The program was influenced by such pioneers in the mind-body field as Lawrence Le Shan, Herbert Benson, Carl and Stephanie Simonton with whom Gerard trained.
In 1997 Helen-Anne undertook specialist training in Palliative Medicine through the University of Wales., UK. She was made a foundation fellow in the Australasian Chapter of Palliative Medicine, (2000). Helen-Anne is actively engaged as a consultant in Palliative Care.
Since 1980, Gerard and Helen-Anne have been fully engaged in the work of DYING AT HOME, a community initiative providing the carer and family of a dying loved one the education and support of community that will enable that person to remain at home to die there.
They have spread the program widely in Australia and during two visits in 2004 and 2006, with Kathleen Dansie, spread the model to Tzaneen, South Africa for people dying of HIV/AIDS. In 2013, together with Kathleen, Br Ray Arthur and David Dansie, they taught the DYING AT HOME program in Kalaymyo, Myanmar.
Many prominent medical practitioners and others are calling out for us all to relearn as an urgent priority, the art of caring for the dying – at least our own loved ones – in the home during this precious time of life.
“palliative care stresses the home as the primary place of care” (World Health Organization 1990)
“The same attention and care we give to those that enter life, the newborn, we should also give those who are leaving life, the elderly and those with known incurable diseases”. (Jan Stjernsward)