Education - Community, Family, Carers

Education - Community, Family, Carers

What we know

Carers may be unprepared and unsupported in providing care for someone at the end of their life. When providing palliative care, we need to provide the knowledge and information they need. The family and the community more broadly may also need to learn about palliative care and death and dying.

Education can take many different forms and serve different purposes. Information needs to be trustworthy, accessible, relevant, and presented in a way that it is easy to understand. Education for carers, family and the community has been shown to be of benefit.

What can I do?

Sometimes you will be educating people with life-limiting conditions, their carers and families as part of your usual care.

Use the following trusted sources to assemble information to leave with someone or to send.

Recommend trusted online resources such as CareSearch, CarerHelp or Palliative Care Australia to families and carers. The CareSearch Carers Learning page has a range of e-learning information and resources for carers and educators, while Carer Gateway has free short online carer skills courses including effective communication techniques.

The palliAGED forms for older people and their families can support carers learn about palliative care and case conferences (151kb pdf) and put together a self-care plan (205kb pdf).

Continue to offer support and information to people and their carers, even if they have declined help previously. Conditions and information needs may change over time and it is not uncommon for people to require repeated conversations to make sense of new information or changes, particularly if they are anxious.

Remember that respite care may allow a carer or family member to attend an education or training session.

What can I learn?

Become familiar with the Charter of Aged Care Rights which outlines the rights of consumers, their families, carers and representatives and what they can expect from an aged care service.

caring@home hosts resources to support carers and families to help manage breakthrough symptoms safely using subcutaneous medicines for a person at home.

Read the palliAGED information section on Family Carers to gain an understanding of the needs and concerns of informal carers.

What can my organisation do?

Promote educational opportunities and resources from Palliative Care Australia resources.

Develop a kit of information for the people in your care and their carers.

Refer to these organisations which can provide information and support services for carers:

When offering education or training, consider things which may help carers attend:

  • Offer these in the home as part of community palliative care services
  • Ensure that access to the venue is easy and parking is free and freely available
  • Sessions can be offered in conjunction with an activity or a time when carers are likely to be at or close to the venue
  • Provide or arrange respite care so that the carer and/or family members can attend
  • And remember, information needs to be trustworthy, accessible, relevant, and presented in a way that it is easy to understand.

Page updated 27 May 2021