New resource: palliAGED Search
palliAGED has developed a search filter to support easy and rapid access to the latest peer-reviewed information on issues in aged care. All information comes from PubMed, the large biomedical database made available by the United States National Library of Medicine.
COVID-19 resources for aged care
To help the aged care workforce who are among our front line responders to COVID-19, in addition to our COVID-19 section in palliAGED, we have created a new page where we highlight noteworthy resources.
palliAGED releases final topic: Psychosocial Care
Psychosocial Care sits at the core of palliative care and connects to many of the 38 topics already available on the palliAGED website. Psychosocial care denotes the psychological, spiritual and social aspects of a person’s life, their emotions, thoughts, attitudes, motivation and behaviour, and the way in which a person relates to and interacts with their world. In practice, awareness of and attendance to psychosocial support should be a part of all aspects of palliative care. You can also read the blog by Susan Gravier and Robyn Dutschke on this release.
palliAGED PA Toolkit has closed
For more than ten years, the Palliative Approach (PA) Toolkit has supported residential aged care facilities to implement a comprehensive, evidence-based, person-centred, and sustainable approach to palliative care. Since its release in 2009, there have been many changes to the evidence base and palliAGED and End of Life Directions for Aged Care (ELDAC) now support the aged care sector. The PA Toolkit was retired on 30 June 2020 after the completion of a content transition plan. You can find more information and alternative resources here.
palliAGED new funding and 2017-2020 Milestones
palliAGED has received new funding from the Australian Government Department of Health. This funding will ensure that the sector continues to have current and readily accessible evidence to guide palliative care practice in aged care.
It will also enable palliAGED to promote high quality care at the end of life to older Australians in line with the Aged Care Quality Standards; to identify and use evidence to address end of life issues raised in the report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety; and to continue the consolidation and dissemination of evidence and practice resources to support high quality palliative care in aged care.
According to palliAGED Director Professor Jennifer Tieman, 'we have a growing older population who are living longer and dying older with higher care needs. Aged care services and health professionals need evidence, resources, and approaches to support quality care and quality of life for older people until they die - whether at home, in the community, or in a residential aged care facility.'
'Since its establishment in 2017, palliAGED has been working to support our aged care workforce and help improve the quality of care at the end of life provided to older Australians. The new funding until 30 June 2023 will allow us to continue this important work,' stated Professor Tieman.
This year, palliAGED has also celebrated its 3rd year anniversary. Among its key accomplishments are:
This summary outlines the other key accomplishments and plans for the next three years. (792kb pdf)
New palliAGED eHealth Section
eHealth or digital health can help GPs and aged care services to deliver high quality care. To support them in setting up and using technologies efficiently, palliAGED has developed a new section on eHealth. The new section lists the latest evidence on eHealth, guidance documents, tools, links, and other information to guide GPs and aged care staff involved in planning and providing care of older persons.
palliAGED Practice Tip Sheets available for orders
palliAGED is distributing free copies of our Practice Tip Sheets for Nurses and Careworkers. The Practice Tip Sheets support nurses and careworkers to provide quality care for older people approaching the end of life, and have been used by aged care providers nationally.
Aged care staff can face complex issues in providing care, and we at palliAGED are committed to supporting them through our evidence-based resources.
New evidence-based guidance on mental illness of older persons at the end of life
Approximately 10-15% of older Australians suffer from a mental illness. Yet, it often goes unrecognised, and few older people suffering from mental illness receive needed specialised treatment. To help address this, palliAGED has developed new online resources on understanding and caring for older persons suffering from mental illness and approaching the end of their life.
The new resources include the Mental Illness Practice page which lists evidence-based tools, links, and other information to guide aged care staff involved in planning and providing care. Mental Illness Evidence pages have also been developed and provide a summary and in-depth synthesis of the latest evidence and research on caring for older persons suffering from depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and suicidality.
palliAGED Palliative Care and COVID-19 Hub
palliAGED has developed an online Palliative Care and COVID-19 Hub to support the aged care sector to prepare in case the demand for end-of-life care increases during the pandemic. The Hub is part of the resources developed by CareSearch as a member of the Australian COVID-19 Palliative Care Working Group (ACPCWG) led by Palliative Care Australia.
The hub features appraised resources on issues such as caring for the dying, communication, medicine management, ethics, and self-care. It has tailored sections for residential aged care, home based care, GPs and Primary care, as well as Government response and online learning for aged care staff. Older Australians and their carers will also find trustworthy information on infection control, providing care, and supporting one's own mental wellbeing.
palliAGED will update the hub weekly as it continuously appraises emerging local and international COVID-19 resources that can help the frontliners across our aged care and health system and the wider community.
palliAGED Provides easy access to information on COVID-19
To support the community in dealing with the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, palliAGED is connecting the aged care sector with relevant information it can trust. While the implications of this rapidly changing situation are still emerging, older people are known to be vulnerable to infection and it is important that the sector has quick access to reliable sources of information.
palliAGED Practice Tip sheets
Due to high demand from the aged care sector, we have reprinted copies of our Practice Tip Sheets for Careworkers and Nurses. You can order free print copies now. For those needing digital copies, the Practice Tip Sheets, along with the Practice Forms, are also available for download and can be used together to further support you and your organisation in caring for older persons.
Complete this form to order printed copies.
New white paper: Allied Health in Australia and its Role in Palliative Care
Allied Health (AH) is expected to play an increasing role in aged care and primary care settings in meeting the personal and clinical needs of older Australians approaching the end of their life. AH is a key part of palliative care provision but evidence about their role and practice is still emerging.
As part of the CareSearch Engagement Project, a background paper on the context of AH practice in Australia was produced for use by professionals, services, and AH organisations. Key findings of this white paper include the need to support AH with education and upskilling in palliative care, funding to support their work in palliative care, and more accurate data on the use of AH services. Download a copy of the white paper now (935kb pdf).
palliAGED in 2019
2019 has been another year of milestones for palliAGED. In our second year, we have added new content and developed new resource formats to further support our aged care sector to deliver best practice palliative care for older Australians at the end of life.
In addition to continuing to provide evidence based guidance for individuals, organisations, and practical toolkit developers, we have supported understanding within the sector by addressing the new Aged Care Quality Standards, Department of Health National Palliative Care Strategy (6.01MB pdf), Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, and others.
Our final newsletter for 2019 provides a snapshot of just some of our achievements this year, and they include:
- Providing evidence based practical guidance
- Supporting education and continuing professional development
- Enabling understanding of key issues, policies, and useful resources
We would like to thank everyone who contributed to our accomplishments for this year, particularly our project partners, advisory group, Practice Tip Sheets expert review group, engagement project participants, and team members. We look forward to 2020 as we continue to collaborate with you to improve the quality of palliative care for all older Australians.
palliAGED Practice Tip Sheets supporting aged care workforce training
The palliAGED Practice Tip Sheets are being used as a valuable training resource for aged care staff across Australia. Since the release of the first edition in March, more than 150 organisations have ordered over 5,200 printed copies of the Tip Sheets and used these for individual and team learning and training.
New palliAGED page: Royal Commission Interim Report
palliAGED has a new page in its Australian Context section highlighting the interim report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Safety and Quality. The page provides an overview of the report and details some of the issues related to palliative care at the end of life.
New palliAGED page: Course Selection Tool
Training and education is a critical component of strengthening the capacity of health professionals and the aged care workforce in providing palliative care. palliAGED has now added the Course Selection Tool to support you and your aged care team in choosing education and continuing professional development options. Providing access to selected introductory courses the tool offers you a starting point that complements the more extensive listing of Online Learning opportunities in palliAGED.
Second edition of palliAGED Practice Tip Sheets
Due to high demand and following feedback from the sector, we have released the Second Edition of our Practice Tip Sheets. The new edition aims to support careworkers and nurses to provide palliative care to older Australians approaching the end of life, and has eight additional topics:
- First Australians - Communication
- Culturally Responsive Care - Communication
- People with Disability - Communication
- Eye Care
- Person-centred Care
- Respiratory Secretions
- Signs of Imminent Death
In addition, we have developed 11 forms covering case conference coordination, self-care planning and for patients, carers and families forms to keep track of medicines and the palliative care team. The forms are freely available and include a place for organisations to add their details.
palliAGED Education Section: Supporting your professional development
Online teaching resources provide a flexible way for aged care staff to learn. palliAGED has launched the first stage of our new education resource aimed at connecting the aged care sector with quality resources to further develop skills in palliative care and care at the end of life.
palliAGED and CareSearch at the 2019 Oceanic Palliative Care Conference
Join us at the Oceanic Palliative Care Conference in Perth on 10-13 September. Head to Exhibit Booth 20 and chat with our team members to learn more of our work on palliative care evidence and pick up copies of our latest resources. We also have posters on our Engagement Project and Practice Tip Sheets. Our Director Professor Jennifer Tieman will also present on Concurrent Session A1 (National Palliative Care Projects) on 11 September about CareSearch and palliAGED.
CareSearch Residential Aged Care Hub to close this month
The CareSearch RAC Hub will be closing in September 2019 with updated versions of relevant information now located within palliAGED. This is part of our project to consolidate information for the aged care sector into a single site and you can read more about the project in our Consolidating Aged Care Guidance project page.
Getting started with palliAGED
palliAGED has added a short module to the homepage to introduce palliAGED and how it can be used to support Careworkers, nurses, GPs, and allied health professionals providing palliative care for older people. If you are new to palliAGED or know others who are share the link to get started.
Following three very productive workshops held in 2018 with members of the aged care and allied health sectors, and patients, families and carers, the CareSearch Engagement project team will host a second round of workshops in August/September 2019. To be held in Adelaide, the aim of the 2019 workshops is to report back on CareSearch/palliAGED activity and achievements over the past year in response to suggestions from the sector, and to discuss the impact of this on palliative care awareness. The Aged Care sector arm of the project will meet on August 30th.
The project team members have also continued to collaborate with each of the sectors in July and a number of articles were published: from Susan Gravier for the Allied Health sector this included articles in Response magazine (July 2019), Paramedics Australasia: Self-care for paramedics (2.96MB pdf) and InMotion magazine (July 2019), Australian Physiotherapy Association: Physios well placed to help with pain. From Robyn Dutschke working with patients, carers, and families July included an article for Lutheran Nurses In Touch newsletter (e-News) (July 2019): The Important Role of Palliative Care (1.07MB pdf). To learn more about the project and our activities visit the Engagement Project.
CareSearch Director outlines recommendations to Aged Care Royal Commission
CareSearch Director and Matthew Flinders Fellow Professor Jennifer Tieman served as an expert witness in one of the Aged Care Royal Commission hearings in Perth.
In her submission for the hearing, Professor Tieman outlined her recommendations for overcoming the obstacles in providing person-centred palliative care in our current aged care system. These are:
- Conduct campaigns to help normalise death, dying and palliative care. Greater emphasis and promotion of death and dying as being part of life frames the care environment in which individuals, families and systems are operating. In addition, normalising dying supports the value of advance care planning as a normal part of life planning.
- Include palliative care in aged care training and education. Careworker training should include palliative care. There is also the need to make the range of education already available more accessible to the aged care and primary care sectors.
- Expand the range of guidance resources developed to support the Aged Care Quality Standards to highlight palliative care examples and resources to support proactive palliative care recognition, assessment and care provision.
- Integrate solutions across systems. There needs to be clarity around how the state funded palliative care services interface with those in receipt of commonwealth funded aged care services.
- Develop and improve access to technology and digital solutions to increase communication and coordination between providers. Given an increasing commitment to homecare packages in aged care and community based palliative care services, digital solutions will be important.
- Analyse funding to improve resourcing for aged care and primary care services.
- Strengthen support for family, family carers, and surrogate decision makers for older Australians so their roles in end of life can be properly recognised and integrated.
- Remember that death and dying is not just a medical or health event, it is a human experience. Hence, care needs to be person centred and adapted to the situation of the individual person.
Palliative Care Australia Board Chair Dr Jane Fisher and Deputy Director of Metro South Palliative Care Service Dr Elizabeth Reymond also served as expert witnesses along with Professor Tieman. You can read more of Professor Tieman’s submission (3.47MB pdf).
Intimacy and Sexuality
Older people are commonly viewed as asexual, yet intimacy, sexuality, and sexual expression are basic human needs and continue to be important throughout life and can provide physical and psychological benefits. Check out the Evidence Summary and the Practice Points around Intimacy and Sexuality. You can also read the new blog by Nigel McGothigan on this release.
palliAGED conference activity
palliAGED team member Rosie Bonnin presented at the 5th International Ageing in a Foreign Land Conference, 19-20 June 2019 and the SA Australian Association of Gerontology Conference, 21 June 2019. Both conferences were held in Adelaide at the Flinders University Tonsley Campus. palliAGED hosted a booth at the conferences and connected with local, national and international participants.
We have developed new content on the Australian context of care. The new pages also cover the facility issues previously found in the CareSearch Residential Aged Care section which is being transferred to palliAGED as part of our efforts to consolidate evidence based resources for the aged care sector into a single site. You can read more about the consolidation project and access the new Australian context pages to learn more.
Engagement Project news
The Engagement project continues to reach out to the aged, allied health and patient, carer and family sectors, and this months publications include:
palliAGED is now on Facebook
palliAGED, as part of the CareSearch Project, is now on Facebook. Like our page @CareSearchProject to learn of the latest updates and links to trustworthy information and the best available evidence on palliative care in aged care.
palliAGED is turning 2!
This week, palliAGED is celebrating our second anniversary of supporting the aged care sector with practical evidence-based guidance in palliative care. You can read more about our work in the latest In Focus - palliAGED: Quality guidance for quality palliative care in aged care.
palliAGED Practice Tip sheets supporting the aged care sector
palliAGED is launching the newly developed evidence-based Practice Tip Sheets in March 2019 to support Careworkers and Nurses to deliver quality care for older Australians. The Practice Tip Sheets will be available to download for free and include easy-to-read discussion of common care issues, pointers on what to do and tools to use as well as questions to prompt reflection and review. The Practice Tip Sheets will complement the range of practice topics already available in the Practice Centre focussing on putting evidence into everyday practice. You can read more about the project and read about the importance of supporting aged care workers as they care for older people in Australia.
Symptoms and Medicines Update
palliAGED Symptoms and Medicines have a fresh new look and revised content. The common symptoms in the last days of life are known. Nurse practitioners (NPs) and general practitioners (GPs) with the support of a pharmacist are well placed to lead care of older Australians into the terminal phase. The palliAGED Symptoms and Medicines pages are an easily-accessible and comprehensive repository of information that can guide evidence-based practice in the care of older people in the last days of their life.
Strategies to improve service and client outcomes in aged care
A guest blog post from Diana Harrison, Jennifer Gavin, Melissa Brodie and Rebecca Moore, ELDAC Facilitators from Queensland University of Technology
LGBTI Elders and Older People - Initiatives in Aged and Palliative Care
A guest blog post from Samantha Edmonds, Silver Rainbow - National Project Manager, National LGBTI Health Alliance
Palliative approach offers peace of mind
A guest blog post by Mark Butler, Chaplaincy and Palliative Care Manager, Eldercare
Three things you need to know about dementia and dying
A guest blog post by Kirsty Carr, National Policy and Strategy Advisor, Dementia Australia
palliAGED in rural aged care
A new video has been added to palliAGED featuring Dr Holly Deer discussing her experiences as a GP working in regional South Australia, and how she has used palliAGEDgp smartphone App to support her in providing palliative care. As noted by Professor Jennifer Tieman in an accompanying blog on palliAGED, ‘Recognising palliative care needs and supporting care delivery over time requires skills and knowledge at the right time'. Trustworthy, evidence-based tools like the palliAGEDgp App can provide GPs with 24/7 access to information to support them in this critical role.
palliAGEDgp: equipping GPs in rural and remote areas to deliver quality palliative care
A blog post by Professor Jennifer Tieman, CareSearch Director, Matthew Flinders Fellow, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Flinders University
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
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
SPICT4ALL has been added to the palliAGED pages. Based on the original SPICT tool designed to help health professionals identify people who might benefit from palliative care and appropriate planning for future care, SPICT4ALL has been ‘de-medicalised’ for use by patients, family carers and staff working in health and care.
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
Pharmacists: The Medicines Experts
A guest blog post by Paul Tait, Lead Palliative Care Pharmacist, Southern Adelaide Palliative Services
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)
Terminal care usually refers to the care in the last few days to weeks of life when a person is irreversibly dying. Check out the Evidence Summary and the Practice Points around Terminal Care.
HealthPathways—supporting local relevant and consistent palliative care
A guest blog by Katharine Silk, Integration and Innovation Manager, Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association
Aged Care Service Needs: ELDAC survey report
A guest blog post by Dr John Rosenberg (Research Fellow), Karen Clifton (Project Coordinator (ELDAC)), and Professor Patsy Yates (Head of School), School of Nursing, Queensland University of Technology.
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.
Complementary medicine refers to medicines and therapies that are used alongside conventional medicine. Check out the Evidence Summary and the Practice Points around Complementary medicine.
A section Care Leavers has been added to Specific Needs in the Evidence Centre.
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
Symptoms and Medicines
The Symptoms and Medicines section of the website has recently been updated. The symptoms and medicines section provides a single gateway to high quality information to support fast and reliable access to evidence to inform clinical practice..
Needs assessments can help to identify what patients and their families consider important and where they need help and support. Check out the Evidence Summary and the Practice Points around Needs Assessment.
The palliAGED apps have been updated in the Google Play store to fix an issue that could cause the content to be blank on some Android devices.
A crisis or an emergency in palliative care is a sudden deterioration in a person’s condition which requires an urgent response. Check out the Evidence Summary and the Practice Points around Managing Crises.
The following pages have been updated to include new and recently published evidence:
Syringe drivers are small portable (usually battery-operated) devices used to administer medication in palliative care. Check out the Evidence Summary and the Practice Points around Syringe Drivers.
Symptoms and Medicines
A new section in the Evidence Centre is a gateway to fast and reliable access to evidence to inform your clinical practice. It provides an overview of common symptoms and how to manage medications. There are links to other useful Australian resources.
Two new topics have been included in the Evidence Centre and the Practice Centre:
Advance Care Planning (ACP)
Two new topics have been included in the Evidence Centre and the Practice Centre:
Models of care
One new topic has been included in the Evidence Centre and the Practice Centre:
The provision of palliative care in the context of older age needs to consider some specific issues including cognitive decline, confusion, dementia and/or communication difficulties. As the community ages, dementia is becoming increasingly common. Check out the Evidence Summary and the Practice Points around cognitive issues.
Check out the range of videos for nurses, GPs and aged care.
Resilience in older adults can be defined as the ability to ‘bounce back’ and recover physical and/or psychological health in the face of adversity. Check out the Evidence Summary and the Practice Points around resilience.
The palliAGED apps provide nurses and GPs with easy and convenient access to information to help them care for people approaching the end of their life. You can also view palliAGEDgp content online and palliAGEDnurse content online.
Emergency Planning and Management
A palliative care emergency is a sudden and life-threatening change in a person’s condition. In this scenario, handovers of care are particularly important to reduce risk of receiving inappropriate treatment. Planning ahead for possible emergencies is good practice and can improve the quality and safety of care. Check out our Evidence Summary and our practice points.
You can email us at email@example.com to order our palliAGED poster, factsheet or brochure to share with colleagues.
Minister's Launch Speech
You can view Minister Wyatt speech on our Vimeo channel.
palliAGED was launched on 25 May 2017 by the Minister of Ageing, the Hon Ken Wyatt, AM.
The palliAGED site supports nurses and care workers in residential aged care or community care, GPs and general practice nurses, allied health professionals and support staff with evidence, tools, guidance and practice resources about palliative care for older Australians. There is also information and resources for older people and their families.
Palliative Perspectives Blogs
Three new aged care blogs have been published:
Page updated 01 September 2020