palliAGED Tip Sheets - an aged care Nurse Practitioner’s experience

palliAGED Tip Sheets - an aged care Nurse Practitioner’s experience

A blog post written by Sharyn Speakman

I am an Aged Care Nurse Practitioner within a 3 facility Residential Aged Care service. A large part of my work is to oversee Palliative Care of our residents. This includes preparing the nursing staff during their orientation with an overview of palliative care in our facilities. The palliAGED Practice Tip sheets are generously offered free in book format by Care Search to all RACFs in Australia. We give them out to all nursing staff at this time. They are also available electronically on the nursing staff’s Desktops on each computer for easy reference.

The value I place in these resources is based on this real world application. But I must admit it is also thanks to the opportunity I had to be part of their development and to see up close the rigour underpinning these resources. In 2018 I was invited by the CareSearch team at Flinders University to join one of 2 teams chosen to edit the PalliAGED Practice Tips for Nurses in Aged Care and the related Practice Tips for Careworkers in Aged Care.

It was a great opportunity for me to meet on two separate occasions in Adelaide with one or two of the researchers, coordinators of the program and about 9 other ‘experts’ in palliative care in aged care settings including community, Residential Aged Care and hospitals.

The research was very detailed with all published documents on the different topics reviewed. Often there were few randomised trials for the researchers to review which shows there is an ongoing need for further research so if you are interested in this let me encourage you to pursue it!

Appropriate end of life care is vital for our elderly clients. So is the support needed for their families and carers. Both are essential to ensure a comfortable and dignified death, the aim of good palliative care.

The editing teams worked hard to make these Tip sheets practical and easy to understand and implement.

These Practice Tips include Care Provider issues, Decision-making & Communication and the many Care Issues faced as people approach the end-of-life stage. Each Topic is covered in a single page under the headings
What is it
Why it matters and
What I need to know
There are several tips on how to put in practice what’s recommended, what to say and do and what not to do. These are all very practical.

The reverse side of every tip page is divided into ‘My notes’ and ‘My reflections’. There are questions to help the worker think about their own attitudes to the different issues and how things could be improved where they work. Writing down your reflections is encouraged.  

We have now extended the topics covered to provide even more support for those new to caring for older members of our community and their families.

Let me encourage you to order your copies today. They are a great resource for anyone involved in Palliative Care of older people.

Sharyn Speakman

Sharyn Speakman
Nurse Practitioner
Bushland Health Group



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The views and opinions expressed in Palliative Perspectives are those of the authors and are not necessarily supported by CareSearch, Flinders University and/or the Australian Government Department of Health.