Palliative Perspectives - palliAGED

A Common Set of ELDAC Clinical Tools

A guest blog post by Paul Tait, Content Editor, ELDAC Project

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Paul Tait from End of Life Directions for Aged Care (ELDAC) discusses how the ELDAC project has identified twelve commonly used clinical tools useful when caring for older people, with palliative care needs. Clinical tools provide standardised ways to assess changes to a person’s health, and are particularly useful when health needs can become increasingly complicated as a person approaches the last 12 months of life.

Building palliative care capacity with education

A guest blog post by Professor Liz Reymond, Deputy Director, Metro South Palliative Care and Service Director, Brisbane South Palliative Care Collaborative

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To meet the public’s increasing demand for palliative care services, especially in community and residential aged care settings, we need to build the capacity of clinicians. Professor Liz Reymond of Metro South Palliative Care and Brisbane South Palliative Care Collaborative discusses why education is one of the best ways to increase capacity in palliative care.

Designed effective palliative care education

A guest blog post by Suzanne Cosgrove, National Program Manager, Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach (PEPA)

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Education and training of the health workforce are essential to enhance the capacity of health professionals to deliver a palliative care approach. Suzanne Cosgrove from Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach (PEPA) discusses how PEPA provides opportunities to develop health professional's and worker's confidence, knowledge and skills in the palliative approach to care.

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.

Why driving matters to patients at the end of life

A guest blog post by Diana Ferreira, Doctoral Candidate, Flinders University

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Most people with advanced disease experience uncontrolled symptoms such as fatigue, pain or breathlessness, which can interfere with their daily lives. To help overcome these symptoms opioids are often prescribed for symptom relief to help patients, which enables them to do activities they were unable to do such as walking, climbing a flight of stairs and driving. Diana Ferreira discusses the importance for clinicians and researchers alike to critically consider the issues of driving and opioid use for people receiving palliative care.

“Let’s talk about it”: Are patients too old and sick to think about sexuality and intimacy when faced with a life-limiting illness?

A guest blog post by Brigitte Karle, Clinical Nurse Educator (CNE), Neringah Hospital

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Part of holistic health care is the recognition that humans are sexual beings. Evidence tells us that the sexual needs of patients receiving palliative care are often not met. Brigitte Karle of Neringah Hospital discusses how they investigated gaps in their practice and how they could improve the ability to provide holistic care of their patients including support for intimacy and sexuality. 

Making sense of care at the end of life: The ELDAC Care Model

A blog post from Professor Jennifer Tieman, Director, Matthew Flinders Fellow, Research Centre in Palliative Care, Death and Dying

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ELDAC has developed a framework that helps aged care staff and services to consider and manage key issues in the last phase of life when a person progresses toward death. In her blog, Professor Jennifer Tieman discusses the ELDAC Care Model, its development, and how it can be used by aged care staff and services (working both in and beyond the ELDAC project) to provide quality care at the end of life.

Self-management of arthritic pain for older people in the community: Do Apps have a role to play?

A guest blog post by Priyanka Bhattarai, Research Associate, ELDAC (End-of-Life Directions for Aged Care)

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Technological advances are enabling the integration of mobile healthcare Apps into the self-management plans for people living with various chronic and complex conditions. Priyanka Bhattarai discusses her research into investigating if self-management Apps are a feasible and acceptable modality to assist older people in the community to better manage their arthritic pain. The potential extension of this to palliative care is also discussed.

Less can be more: Researching non-beneficial treatment at the end-of-life

A guest blog post by Professor Adrian Barnett, Chief Investigator, InterACT Study and Professor of Statistics, Australian Centre for Health Services Innovation (AusHSI), Queensland University of Technology

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Advances in medicine mean health care professionals can prolong life, yet some treatments have a low chance of providing tangible benefits to some patients, can result in a ‘bad death’, and represent a multi-million dollar cost to the public. Professor Adrian Barnett from the Queensland University of Technology discusses the study he is involved in which looks to increase awareness among hospital clinicians of the extent of non-beneficial treatment at the end-of-life and stimulate action to reduce it.

Usability evaluation and online palliative care information resources

A guest blog post by Amanda Adams, PhD Candidate, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Flinders University

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The internet has provided a mechanism to make palliative care information freely accessible. However, the complexity of palliative care and situational stresses can influence a person’s ability to easily find, navigate and understand online information. It is for this reason that many developers of websites providing palliative care information conduct a usability evaluation during the development process. Amanda Adams discusses her research into evaluation of usability and accessibility during the development stage of an online resource or toolkit and whether this improves access and value.