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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.
Advance care planning is especially important as it assists health professionals to understand what choices and decisions have been made, how someone would like to be cared for, and the direction of treatment plans. However not all residential aged care facilities implement advance care planning policies. Nurse Practitioner Sharyn Speakman from Bushland Health Group discusses her experience and the processes she used to develop an advance care planning policy and procedures for the Bushland Health Group residential aged care facilities.
Paul Tait from End of Life Directions for Aged Care (ELDAC) discusses how the ELDAC project has identified twelve commonly used clinical tools useful when caring for older people, with palliative care needs. Clinical tools provide standardised ways to assess changes to a person’s health, and are particularly useful when health needs can become increasingly complicated as a person approaches the last 12 months of life.
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.
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.
ELDAC has developed a framework that helps aged care staff and services to consider and manage key issues in the last phase of life when a person progresses toward death. In her blog, Professor Jennifer Tieman discusses the ELDAC Care Model, its development, and how it can be used by aged care staff and services (working both in and beyond the ELDAC project) to provide quality care at the end of life.