A guest blog post by Mia Taylen-Smith, Nurse Practitioner, Metro South Palliative Care
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.
A guest blog post by Dr Katrina Erny-Albrecht, Senior Research Fellow, CareSearch, Flinders University
In health care the role of evidence in decision making is recognised by health care practitioners and providers, and relates to understanding the balance between the potential benefits and harms of any practice, treatment or intervention. Dr Katrina Erny-Albrecht of CareSearch discusses the importance of independent, critical appraisal and synthesis of evidence into reliable, practical guidance for recipients and providers of care.
A guest blog post by Professor Patsy Yates, Centre Director, NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in End-of-life Care, Head, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology; Director, Centre for Palliative Care Research and Education
The pattern of disease, dying and death has changed dramatically in Australia over the last century. In Australia alone almost 160,000 people die every year. Of these at least 120,000 are expected deaths, meaning that access to palliative care could be of great benefit to both the individuals and their families. But ensuring access to quality palliative care for all who need it is not without its challenges. This is why a group of researchers sought funding from National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) for the Centre of Research Excellence in End-of-Life Care (CRE-ELC).
A guest blog post by Robyn McLean, RNR, Residential Aged Care Manager
In my role managing two aged care homes in Melbourne, I have come across a number of challenges which needed to be overcome. I took over one home four and a half years ago and the second 18 months ago, discovering the same basic issues in each home; after the first time, the issues were relatively easy to change. Staff were fractured in the sense that departments did not necessarily rely on each other and work together, and knowledge of clinical issues was only handed over to clinical staff, not to the whole home (not an unusual happening). My idea of sharing with all staff was greeted with a degree of scepticism at first, but staff embraced it quite quickly and then started to discuss things across different departments.
A guest blog post from Alison Verhoeven, Chief Executive, Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association
Palliative Care has become widely recognised as one of the most vital disciplines in Australian health, with our ageing population and increasingly effective medical treatments bringing about longer and longer final care stages of life.
Palliative care can be an awkward subject to broach – it is difficult to talk about death. However, given our ageing population and our rising rates of chronic and complex disease, including increasing instances of multiple morbidities, these discussions have never been more important and following the discussion, we must meet the growing need for carers with palliative care skills.