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Vital advance care planning support for aged care

A guest blog post from Julia Todd, Deputy Program Director, Engagement and Education, Advance Care Planning Australia

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Seventy per cent of older Australians are still without an Advance Care Directive. Given the expected increase in our older population and the focus on person-centred care at the end of life, our aged care workforce requires support. Julia Todd from Advance Care Planning Australia discusses the importance of ongoing education and training for the aged care sector, and insights from their initiative.

The Advance Project – supporting a team approach to advance care planning and palliative care in everyday general practice

A guest blog post by Professor Josephine Clayton, Senior Staff Specialist Physician in Palliative Medicine, HammondCare and Professor of Palliative Care, University of Sydney and Associate Professor Joel Rhee, General Practitioner and Associate Professor of General Practice, HammondCare Centre for Positive Ageing and Care, University of Wollongong

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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.

Taking time to talk

A blog post from Professor Jennifer Tieman, CareSearch Director, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Flinders University

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National Advance Care Planning Week is an annual initiative by Advance Care Planning Australia that encourages all Australians, regardless of their age or health status, to make their future health care preferences known. Jennifer Tieman Director of CareSearch discusses the importance of advance care planning and the need to start more conversations about death and dying.

Three things you need to know about dementia and dying

A guest blog post by Kirsty Carr, National Policy and Strategy Advisor, Dementia Australia

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Many of us are unaware that Dementia is a terminal illness. It is currently the second leading cause of death overall in Australia. Kirsty Carr from Dementia Australia discusses three things you need to know about dementia and dying. 

Improving end-of-life care for residential aged care residents initiative

A guest blog post by Mia Taylen-Smith, Nurse Practitioner, Metro South Palliative Care

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Older people living in residential aged care facilities need to be provided high quality end-of-life care. This will often involve nurses who will help with advance care planning and implement a palliative approach to care. Mia Taylen-Smith of Metro South Palliative Care discusses how their Improving End-of-Life Care Residential Aged Care Residents Initiative aims to enable aged care nurses.

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

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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

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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

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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.

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