CareSearch Blog: Palliative Perspectives

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

Facilitating meaningful experiences and connection for aged care residents and their families

A guest blog post by Alison Harrington, Founder and CEO, Moove & Groove

  • 10 March 2021
  • Author: Guest
  • Number of views: 558
  • 0 Comments
Facilitating meaningful experiences and connection for aged care residents and their families

The Moove & Groove Program is an online program of specially curated audio and visual content for seniors, which provides immersive experiences and engagement using wireless headphone technology.

The Program has been proving it can assist in managing dementia behaviours and creating engaging moments of joy and connection for aged care residents. We saw a clear opportunity to extend this program into palliative care and worked with our partner Southern Cross Care (SA, NT & VIC) Inc at The Pines Lodge Residential Care in SA to run a pilot palliative program. We also collaborated with Estelle Chappelle, an SA based palliative care specialist, to:

  • Develop and source additional appropriate content focussed explicitly on the needs of people who are palliating. This content included mediations, gentle yoga and breathing, nature videos, additional spiritual offerings, and the inclusion of a dedicated palliative care section within our app
  • Modify our platform to allow for the collection of resident preferences to aid staff in selecting appropriate and personalised content
  • Create a 20-minute online palliation training video to educate direct care staff about the program and how to use it for palliating residents
  • Provide a kit containing a tablet, long-range wireless headphones and a speaker, packaged in a pink basket, for families to use.

The pilot has been in operation for over three months, and the aim was to demonstrate effectiveness across several critical measures for residents, including:

  • Reduction of anxiety
  • Greater feeling of peace and acceptance
  • Pain reduction 
  • Connectedness to family.

We are also aiming to survey staff and families after the pilot about ease of use and impact on resident well-being at the end stage of life. We currently have 16 residents participating and have begun to receive initial data and many beautiful engagement stories.

One such story is that of Bob, who was palliating and experiencing two symptoms that are very common during this stage of life - anxiety and discomfort. Bob’s family and the Southern Cross Care team both agreed that it would be beneficial to use the Moove & Groove program to offer Bob the opportunity to engage in activities that would resonate with him. 

Bob’s family completed the Moove & Groove personal preference forms, and through this discovery process staff learned that Bob had fond memories of trips to New Zealand and loved 1950s music. The team began offering Bob a personalised program selection that included NZ armchair travel videos and 1950s music. Below is feedback from Priyanka (Lifestyle Manager of the care home) about the engagement.

“I have just stepped out of Bob’s room after using Moove & Groove with him and his wife. He was singing along to the music, and the family member was in tears. It was beyond beautiful. The music was from the ’50s, and his wife (who was a music teacher) said she hasn’t heard him sing in such a long time. Bob had used the app last week to travel to New Zealand, a destination he had travelled to with his wife before. He not only shared his experiences with staff while watching the armchair travel but also remembered to share all that with his wife the next day when she came in. She was beyond ecstatic that he remembered.”

Below is a photo of Bob and a staff member at Pines Lodge.

Photo of Bob and staff member at Pines Lodge RAC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Based on the pilot findings, we have demonstrated that the program can be effectively applied to assist palliative residents in aged care and will be exploring its application in broader settings of palliative care in 2021.

We would like to develop a specialised online music program and comprehensive spiritual listening content to create a customisable, person-centred, and engaging palliative care program for aged care residents and anyone at the end stage of life. This would encompass content as broad as meditations, church services, music, and reminiscing audio content that can be easily provided by staff or families via headphones any time of the day or night. As hearing is the final sense to leave us, the program can also be used for the entire journey of palliation from the final months to the last moments of life.

We would also like to develop a specialised online training program to ensure all staff and families can be trained online within minimum cost so the program can be deployed efficiently and remotely to many facilities and communities.

Once developed, this program will be piloted for 12 weeks in an aged care facility (Southern Cross Care in SA), with measurements and reporting completed to assess the effectiveness in meeting its objectives. This is world-first palliative technology.

Profile picture of Alison Harrington

 


Alison Harrington, Founder and CEO of Moove & Groove

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The CareSearch blog Palliative Perspectives informs and provides a platform for sharing views, tips and ideas related to palliative care from community members and health professionals. 
 

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