Caring doesn’t stop just because a person enters residential aged care

A guest blog post by Kay Richards, National Policy Manager and Rebecca Storen, Policy Officer, Leading Age Services Australia

  • 20 October 2016
  • Author: CareSearch
  • Number of views: 6499
  • 1 Comments
Caring doesn’t stop just because a person enters residential aged care

I often hear people say that once a person enters a residential aged care facility that the caring role provided by the person’s family and friends is no longer required, and yet this couldn’t be further from the truth. Aged care staff encourage family and friends to stay actively involved in a person’s life. There are many obvious reasons why this is so necessary.

Moving homes is generally a stressful and emotional time and, for residential aged care, this can be further exacerbated by the fact that it is often in response to a crisis. Someone’s mother has been admitted to hospital after a nasty fall or the care requirements of someone’s husband has increased because their diabetes isn’t being well managed. Therefore, not only are people having to make important decisions about where they, or their loved one, is going to live, but this is generally during a time when emotions are high and various members of the family may have different opinions.

 

palliAGEDnurse app: Putting information in nurses’ hands

A Guest Blog Post from Dr Jennifer Tieman, CareSearch Director, Associate Professor, Discipline Palliative and Supportive Services

  • 12 May 2016
  • Author: CareSearch
  • Number of views: 8851
  • 0 Comments
palliAGEDnurse app: Putting information in nurses’ hands

There is no doubt that nurses are fundamental to health care. There are over 350,000 nurses currently practising in Australia. They are the largest single health profession in Australia. But more importantly, they are most often the face of care to the person needing care. And this is particularly important to remember when thinking about the care needs of an older person who may be the last stage of their life.

Many older people spend some or all of the last year of their life at home. Some will move to residential aged care or will already be in an aged care facility. Others will live with families or friends. Some may spend time in a hospital. Nearly all will be involved with a GP and with their Practice Nurses. So not only are nurses critical in enabling good care for older Australians coming to the end of their life, they will be providing this care in many different settings.
 

Life’s Journey’s Final Steps: Dying in a Residential Aged Care Facility (RAC)

A Guest Blog Post from Larissa B McIntyre, RN, FACN - Residential Manager, BaptistCare Orana Centre, Point Clare, NSW

  • 10 May 2016
  • Author: CareSearch
  • Number of views: 9210
  • 6 Comments
Life’s Journey’s Final Steps:  Dying in a Residential Aged Care Facility (RAC)

We all know that the population is ageing; and the figures forecasted are significant with around 15% (3.6 million people) older than 65 years in 2016 (Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), 2013). These figures will continue to soar, and by 2031 it is estimated 19% (5.7 million) of the population will be older than 65 years (ABS, 2013).

In 2015 it was reported that 75% of people aged 65 and over who died in Australia used an aged care service in the 12 months before their death, and 60% were an aged care client at the time of their death (AIHW, 2015).  These figures alone point out the obvious key role the aged care sector plays in ensuring a person’s quality of life reaches its maximum potential as they approach the end of their lives, and inherent within that is the role aged care plays in ensuring a good death.

Fitting the pieces together: Completing the big picture puzzle of a coherent end-of-life care system for all

A guest post from Dr Chris Moy, General Practitioner, Parkside, SA

  • 8 December 2015
  • Author: CareSearch
  • Number of views: 7920
  • 0 Comments
Fitting the pieces together: Completing the big picture puzzle of a coherent end-of-life care system for all

A fundamental aspect of palliative care is that it is supposed to be “holistic care”. At an individual level, this emphasises the requirement to not only consider the many medical and practical aspects of a person’s care, but to also consider their emotional, social and spiritual needs.

At the level of policy and service development, this means being able to identify the many pieces of the puzzle that are required to support good end-of-life care for individuals, and to wisely fit these together so that the picture begins to make sense to everyone.

In South Australia, there has been steady progress in this regard, with the work of many individuals and organisations being the essential pieces that coming together to form a picture of a coherent end-of-life decision-making and care strategy which will better provide for the needs of people dying both in hospitals and in the community.

So, what are some of these “pieces”, and how do they fit together?

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