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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.
Professor Imogen Mitchell discusses her role as a practising intensive care specialist and the value of evidence to inform decisions not only about individual patient care but the use of evidence in business discussions to improve the delivery of health care. Imogen highlights you can access this trustworthy information about the palliative approach to end-of-life care through CareSearch and the importance of CareSearch providing invaluable, up-to-date evidence.
CareSearch is celebrating its 10 year anniversary. For 10 years CareSearch has been assembling and disseminating evidence becoming the major online source for palliative care evidence in Australia. Jennifer Tieman, CareSearch Director, discusses CareSearch's role and contribution, as well as touches on what is planned over the next three years.
In health care the role of evidence in decision making is recognised by health care practitioners and providers, and relates to understanding the balance between the potential benefits and harms of any practice, treatment or intervention. Dr Katrina Erny-Albrecht of CareSearch discusses the importance of independent, critical appraisal and synthesis of evidence into reliable, practical guidance for recipients and providers of care.
Many people spend the last stages of their lives in aged care, and for that reason Palliative Care Australia believes that end-of-life care should be recognised as core business for residential aged care. Increasingly, aged care providers are recognising the need to ensure their workforce have the necessary skills and competencies to deliver high quality end-of-life care. Yet in spite of this recognition, access to quality palliative care services is far from guaranteed in residential aged care – particularly in rural and remote areas.
We all want the ‘best death possible’ for our loved ones and ourselves as we enter old age. So we need to ask ourselves, what are the barriers to accessing care that can support this, and will looking at the issue from a population or needs-based policy perspective help to ensure end-of-life care becomes core business for all aged care providers?
One of the statements we commonly see in research reports and in policy and service documents is a comment about an ageing population. The reality of a demographic change where people are living longer than ever before has been instrumental in driving rethinking around issues such as retirement age, superannuation access, healthy lifestyles and supportive living environments. Living longer does not however mean living forever, and an ageing population means we also need to consider how we support older Australians as they approach death.