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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.
Education and training of the health workforce are essential to enhance the capacity of health professionals to deliver a palliative care approach. Suzanne Cosgrove from Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach (PEPA) discusses how PEPA provides opportunities to develop health professional's and worker's confidence, knowledge and skills in the palliative approach to care.
Implementing a palliative approach to care enables residential aged care facilities to support the quality of life, comfort and dignity for each of their resident from admission to death. Mark Butler from Eldercare discusses how their organisation implemented a palliative approach, and the benefits it brings to their residents and their families and multidisciplinary staff members.
Older people living in residential aged care facilities need to be provided high quality end-of-life care. This will often involve nurses who will help with advance care planning and implement a palliative approach to care. Mia Taylen-Smith of Metro South Palliative Care discusses how their Improving End-of-Life Care Residential Aged Care Residents Initiative aims to enable aged care nurses.
The release of the Guidelines for a Palliative Approach in Residential Aged Care (APRAC) and the Guidelines for a Palliative Approach for Aged Care in the Community Setting (COMPAC) were a significant advance in recognising and responding to changing population demography in Australia. They aimed to support the provision of palliative care for older people living in the community or in residential aged care by identifying and evaluating the evidence for care to promote quality of life for older Australians who have a life-limiting illness or who are becoming progressively frailer during old age. The two sets of guidelines were important landmarks nationally and internationally.