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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.
Informing people with vastly different backgrounds, literacy levels and capacity, as well as roles is a challenge. This is why in the 2017-2020 project period, CareSearch and palliAGED began the Engagement Project working with specific groups (allied health, aged care and patients, carers, and families) to learn more about how they find and use health care information and what information about end of life and palliative care they need. Dr Katrina Erny-Albrecht, Senior Research Fellow for CareSearch discusses some key findings from the project and the central importance of context.
Preparing and planning for quality symptom management and palliative care should be a priority in the management of COVID-19 in residential aged care facilities. Kim Offner, Project Officer at ELDAC, discusses the lessons learnt and the practical recommendations from the Palliative Care and COVID-19 webinars which the project recently hosted.
Advance care planning (ACP) is one of the main topics that callers to the ELDAC Helpline call for assistance with. Caroline Litster, Research Officer from ELDAC, discusses the type of ACP inquiries received, and how the Helpline team assist callers with navigating the more complex concerns around ACP in aged care, such as those relating to residents who lack decision-making capacity.
Everyone should consider an advance care plan (ACP), however, ACP is a concept based on Western principles of self-determination, patient autonomy, informed consent and decision-making. These values are not universally accepted and compete with other beliefs for many older Australians. Dr Georgia Rowley from ELDAC discusses Australia’s diverse population and how diversity considerations should be made when engaging in ACP initiatives.
An important part of preparing for COVID-19 is to include advance care planning as part of your response. Only 25% of older Australians aged 65 years and over have documented their preferences in an Advance Care Directive. In her guest blog, Advance Care Planning Australia (ACPA) Program Director, Linda Nolte, shares why it is imperative to increase advance care planning for older Australians as the aged care sector prepares for the spread of the coronavirus.