Models of Care

Models of Care

What we Know

Not all people at end of life will need specialist palliative care but a palliative approach or palliative care should be available when and where it is required. Various models for palliative care delivery and their components exist without a universally accepted model. However, models of palliative care appear to show benefits for patients and their carers, with no evidence of negative effects, irrespective of setting or patient characteristics.

For older people, community palliative care and palliative care in residential aged care facilities (RACF) have shown to be beneficial but more high-quality research is needed for the benefits and cost-effectiveness to be well understood.

It is difficult to detail specific practice points in relation to this topic as the success of any model of care will depend on the profile/needs of clients or residents, the available services and resources, and the health system structure and the policy, sociocultural and economic context.

What can I do?

Remember all care providers can contribute to quality care of older people approaching the end of their life.

Realise that I am part of a team helping to provide care.

Remember that care is person-centred and this is guided by and emphasised in the Aged Care Quality Standards, the Aged Care Diversity Framework, and the Charter of Rights.

What can I learn?


Refer to the Age Care Standards and, for more information, check out the series of articles, one per Standard, in Understanding the standards

Remember that multidisciplinary team members should all have an understanding of end-of-life care.

What can my organisation do?

Refer to:

Review the processes in place for referral and the relationships established with local services including GPs, specialists and PHNs.

Ensure that all staff members have access to training and upskilling opportunities (in-house or external).

Use the palliAGED Practice Tip Sheets as a basis for in-house informal education sessions for nurses and careworkers.

Use the palliAGED forms to help with the organisation of case conferences, keeping track of the members of an older person’s care team, and practicing self-care (aged care team and carers).

Look at designating palliative care champions to support staff looking after older people who are living with a life-limiting illness or actively dying. These skills may be sought through recruitment of new staff.

Look at ways to embed palliative care into everyday practice.

Page updated 30 June 2021