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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.
Due to advances in medicine, people with physical disabilities are living longer. While end-of-life care should be readily accessible for this group, the care needs of people with significant physical disabilities arguably adds an additional layer of complexity to such care. Dr Ruth Walker from Flinders University discusses end-of-life care needs for adults with long-standing physical disability and the new research she is involved in to explore the specific needs of people with physical disabilities who are at the end-of-life, as well as the needs of their families and the support staff who help care for them.
General practices provide ongoing care for a large number of patients with chronic, progressive, and eventually fatal illnesses, and so have an essential role in providing palliative care to patients and their families. Professor Josephine Clayton, Senior Staff Specialist Physician in Palliative Medicine and Associate Professor Joel Rhee, General Practitioner, discusses the Advance Project and how it aims to support general practices with the tools to identify people early who might need a palliative approach to their care and enables general practice teams to thoroughly assess the persons’ symptoms, concerns and priorities as well as the needs of their carers.
Older people entering residential aged care are often shocked to find their GP is no longer able to continue providing them with the healthcare they have been used to. Alison Verhoeven, CEO of the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association, discusses how the End of Life Directions for Aged Care project can support primary care professionals to provide consistently high-quality care to older Australians.
Palliative Care Australia (PCA) is the peak body for palliative care representing all those who work towards high quality palliative care for all Australians. Working with the government, it sets the standard by which services can be assessed. Kate Reed-Cox from PCA discusses how the new Palliative Care Self Assessment program provides services with a secure online portal to self-assess against the National Palliative Care Standards (5th ed.), and the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (2nd ed.), resulting in a quality improvement action plan.
As National Palliative Care Week approaches, Palliative Care Australia’s CEO, Rohan Greenland, discusses why palliative care in the aged care sector matters, and how the End of Life Directions for Aged Care project (www.eldac.com.au) can support aged care workers and health professionals to provide high-quality palliative care and advance care planning for older Australians.