What is the RAC Hub?
The Residential Aged Care (RAC) Hub is a collection of information, tools and resources developed to form a hub of knowledge. It is designed to support staff of RAC to provide practical support to residents who are dying, and to provide quality information for residents and their families.
The RAC Hub is not a guide to the provision of aged care in general; it is about providing palliative care in residential aged care facilities. Some level of knowledge and experience is assumed, especially on the pages that are written for nurses.
Residential aged care provides care to older Australians who are unable to remain in the own homes due to disability, illness, or frailty. Increasingly it is a place where older Australians end their lives.
Palliative care provides support to people at the end of life to have the best possible quality of life. It offers specialist knowledge in symptom control and support with emotional, spiritual and social needs. Palliative care is not just about cancer, but can improve the lives of people with other life limiting diseases such as dementia, other neurological diseases and organ failure.
Terms used on these pages:
Residential aged care is a very diverse sector. Titles given to the people who work in aged care varies between facilities and from state to state. The RAC Hub uses the following terms.
- Registered Nurse (RN) means a person who has completed a formal course of study and is registered with AHPRA to practice as a Registered Nurse in Australia. Known as Division 1RN in Victoria.
- Enrolled Nurse (EN) means a person who has completed a formal course of study and is registered with AHPRA to practice as an Enrolled Nurse in Australia. Known as a Division 2RN in Victoria.
- Careworker; a person who provides personal care and assistance to residents under the direction of Nurses. May be called Direct Care Worker, Assistant in Nursing, Carer, Personal Carer, Care Assistant, or Residential Care Worker in some states . The minimum qualification desired for this position is the Certificate 3, Aged Care CHC30208, or equivalent.
- Domestic Staff maybe called Hotel Services Staff in facilities. They may provide cleaning services, food services, or laundry services.
- Lifestyle Coordinators, may also be known as Diversional Therapists/assistants, Activities Coordinators or Leisure Services Coordinator. Their qualification is Diploma of Leisure and Health CHC50802.
Background to the RAC Hub Project
The need for a RAC Hub was first discussed in 2010. Health care reform and the growing impact of Australia's ageing population as well as feedback to the CareSearch project had highlighted the needs of, and contribution made by, residential aged care in caring for residents at the end-of-life. The 2011-2014 Agreement included the development of a residential aged care hub as a CareSearch project activity.
The RAC Hub Project has been led by a nurse with experience in residential aged care. Ms Roma Dicker joined the CareSearch Team in 2011. A small working group comprising aged care workers and palliative care staff assisted in planning the content and developing the RAC Hub framework. The CareSearch Team was responsible for the searches for background literature, finalisation of page content, development of web pages and preparation of promotional materials.
Many staff from aged care commented on pages, suggested resources, and offered assistance. Other health professionals and academics formally reviewed the content.
The contribution of the many people to the development of the RAC Hub is recognised in the Acknowledgements 2012 page.