End of life care for aged care residents

Australia’s population is ageing. GPs will increasingly be caring for older patients who will live for some period and die in residential aged care facilities.

Key points

Proactive management of older people can assist with planning and identifying needs. An Australian GP framework is supporting GPs in care delivery by highlighting key clinical care processes:

  • Use the Surprise Question to frame your thinking: Would you be surprised if your patient were to die in the next 6-12 months:
  • If you do not think death will occur in the next 6-12 months, introduce advance care planning while the older person is still well.
  • If you think it is possible that the person will die in 6 months or less, think about a case conference to coordinate care planning and delivery
  • If you think the person could possibly die in the next few weeks, create a terminal care management plan.

ELDAC, a CareSearch partner project, has a primary care toolkit relating to end of life in aged care. 

The toolkit includes information on clinical actions, team actions and Health Pathways.

ELDAC website

palliAGED, a CareSearch partner project, provides palliative care evidence and practice information resource for the Australian aged care sector. 

It has a section For GPs.

palliAGED website

Last updated 24 August 2021