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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.
The End of Life Directions for Aged Care (ELDAC) helpline (1800 870 155) offers free access to information over the phone to people caring for older Australians with a palliative need. This includes all health professionals and workers in residential aged care, home care, general practice, primary health networks, and allied health professionals. Dr Georgia Rowley and Caroline Litster discuss what the ELDAC helpline is, why it was established, who it can support and reasons why to call it.
For this discussion, aged care refers to the additional care required for an older person needing regular health professional input either in the community or in an aged care home.
Palliative care is, according to the WHO (World Health Organisation), ‘an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problems associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual’.