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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.
To meet the public’s increasing demand for palliative care services, especially in community and residential aged care settings, we need to build the capacity of clinicians. Professor Liz Reymond of Metro South Palliative Care and Brisbane South Palliative Care Collaborative discusses why education is one of the best ways to increase capacity in palliative care.
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.
Seventy per cent of older Australians are still without an Advance Care Directive. Given the expected increase in our older population and the focus on person-centred care at the end of life, our aged care workforce requires support. Julia Todd from Advance Care Planning Australia discusses the importance of ongoing education and training for the aged care sector, and insights from their initiative.
Most people with advanced disease experience uncontrolled symptoms such as fatigue, pain or breathlessness, which can interfere with their daily lives. To help overcome these symptoms opioids are often prescribed for symptom relief to help patients, which enables them to do activities they were unable to do such as walking, climbing a flight of stairs and driving. Diana Ferreira discusses the importance for clinicians and researchers alike to critically consider the issues of driving and opioid use for people receiving palliative care.
Part of holistic health care is the recognition that humans are sexual beings. Evidence tells us that the sexual needs of patients receiving palliative care are often not met. Brigitte Karle of Neringah Hospital discusses how they investigated gaps in their practice and how they could improve the ability to provide holistic care of their patients including support for intimacy and sexuality.