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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.

Vulnerable older people at risk at end of life

A guest blog post by Dr Kelly Purser and Associate Professor Tina Cockburn, Australian Centre for Health Law Research, Faculty of Law, Queensland University of Technology

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The end of life makes older people more vulnerable to elder abuse. Dr Kelly Purser and Associate Professor Tina Cockburn from the Australian Centre for Health Law Research, Faculty of Law at Queensland University of Technology discuss the escalating, and often hidden, problem of elder abuse in Australia’s ageing population and the different forms it can take.

The importance of palliAGED in rural and remote nursing

A guest blog post by Dr Ann Aitken PhD, Acting Director of Nursing & Midwifery, Rural and Remote Services, Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service

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About a third of Australian nurses work in rural and remote practice and many are sole practitioners working in geographically diverse and challenging areas. This requires nurses to have a diverse range of skills, professional and otherwise, including the need to provide quality palliative care. One of our biggest challenges is in being able to maintain those skills in their environment. Ann Aitken, Acting Director of Nursing and Midwifery at Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Services, discusses how the palliAGEDnurse and palliAGEDgp apps provide nurses and their medical colleagues a way to gain 24/7 offline palliative care information to help them in their practice.
 

Pharmacists: The Medicines Experts

A guest blog post by Paul Tait, Lead Palliative Care Pharmacist, Southern Adelaide Palliative Services

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Pharmacists can do more than simply fill prescriptions. They can help palliative patients and those living with chronic illnesses manage, review, organise and dispose of medicines. In this CareSearch blog, Paul Tait of Southern Adelaide Palliative Services discusses how to work with pharmacists so they can better support your needs.

What is the relationship between good advocacy services and good palliative care?

A guest blog post by Lewis Kaplan, former CEO, Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN)

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Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) manages the National Aged Care Advocacy Program. OPAN provides information, education and free, confidential individual advocacy to both community and residential aged care and potential consumers, their carers and families. Lewis Kaplan, former CEO of OPAN, discusses what is the relationship between good advocacy services and good palliative care.

Why evidence matters at the end-of-life and why it’s everyone’s business

A guest blog post by Dr Katrina Erny-Albrecht, Senior Research Fellow, CareSearch, Flinders University

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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.

Centre of Research Excellence in End-of-Life Care (CRE-ELC)

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

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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).

Three things to do about health professionals’ knowledge of end of life law

A guest blog post by Professors Ben White and Lindy Willmott, Directors, Australian Centre for Health Law Research, Faculty of Law, QUT

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Health professionals need to know the law that governs withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining treatment. Law is not at the centre of the clinical encounter, but it is part of the regulatory framework that governs these decisions. Failure to know and follow the law puts health professionals and their patients at risk. But we know there are gaps in health professionals’ legal knowledge in this area and this is not surprising either, given how complex and difficult this field of law is.

 

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.

 

Free palliative care online training helping people live well with chronic illness

A guest blog post from Alison Verhoeven, Chief Executive, Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association

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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.

 
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