ELDAC (End of Life Directions for Aged Care) is fast approaching its first-year project milestone. A lot has happened in the last twelve months: our website, including five toolkits, launched in March 2018. At this time, our helpline was also established. In 2018 the ELDAC Flinders team welcomed many new team members across web development, marketing, administration and research.
ELDAC is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health, and builds on the evidence developed for palliAGED and the expertise of Advance Care Planning Australia. Our audience primarily consists of health professionals and aged care workers; individuals working with others at the end of life. A national launch event was held in June 2018, attended by Minister Ken Wyatt. At this launch, the suite of national capacity-building resources (partnerships, policy and technology solutions) were announced.
The ELDAC website was built and designed following extensive consultation with consortium members, in addition to user testing and feedback. We will continue to refine the layout and content of the website to ensure users have timely access to relevant and helpful information. Our helpline is available during working hours should users feel unsure of where and how to access information to address their queries.
Individuals using our website are interested in our blogs, links to forms (e.g. state-based advance care planning), and clinical questionnaires and assessments. Our monthly user metrics vary between 24 and 60 thousand page views. Of all online content, our toolkit pages (especially our Residential Aged Care and Home Care toolkits) are most frequently viewed. We have created fourteen videos to date, which have been well-received online. Most of our web visitors and newsletter subscribers are Australian, but we also have small international traction. Users located in NSW, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia respectively generate the largest numbers of web visits. We have three times more female than male users, perhaps indicative of the aged care sector. Most of our visitors are within the 25 to 64 age bracket, with individuals between ages 45-54 and 25-34 accounting for the most site visits respectively.
Our first monthly newsletter was circulated in early May. Our newsletter subscriber list has experienced significant growth; each month we have between 100 and 500 new newsletter subscribers, with the majority from Australia. From a social media standpoint, we maintain a presence on Twitter and LinkedIn platforms. Our Twitter audience has steadily grown to 450 current followers. Our audience continues to grow as word about the project is disseminated in the aged care and palliative care sector.
We have run multiple marking campaigns this year, primarily pertaining to each toolkit, and our helpline. Our marketing campaigns in 2018 have focused on increasing brand awareness for the project, and highlighting several of our project’s key informational products. In 2018, we exhibited the project at four conferences – Catholic Health Australia (CHA) in Melbourne, ACSA National Summit in Sydney, the International Hospital Federation (IHF) World Hospital Congress in Brisbane, and Leading Aged Services Australia (LASA) in Adelaide. Each of these conferences provided us with the opportunity to promote our project to interested delegates. We engaged with several hundred individuals across these conferences, which resulted in new individuals signing up to the newsletter, and sector insights being shared with us through our conference survey. There have also been several presentations from ELDAC team members nationally, at several conferences including CHA and the Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG).
ELDAC is concerned with the intersection between aged care and palliative care. The primary aim of the project is to assist health practitioners and care workers make sense of a complex space via evidence-based information, guidance and resources, to ultimately improve the care of older Australians and support palliative care and advance care planning. If you have feedback about our project, please contact us at ELDAC.Helpline@flinders.edu.au. You can also follow us on Twitter (@ELDAC_agedcare). We look forward to connecting with you.
Dr Georgia Rowley, Research Associate, ELDAC (End of Life Directions for Aged Care)