What can my organisation do?
Encourage staff to be aware of clients’ or residents’ preferences.
Residential aged care facilities can implement the Residential aged care end-of-life care pathway (RAC EoLCP) that guides the provision of good quality end-of-life (terminal) care.
Providing a homely or personalised physical environment may be of great comfort particularly if it allows family or friends to stay close to a resident receiving palliative care.
Encourage staff to use the resources:
In the organisation’s processes and procedures, ensure that, for each resident and client,
- a copy of the Advance Care Plan (ACP) or Advance Care Directive (ACD) is readily available in notes or records; an electronic version may assist accessibility
- the contact details are up to date for the next-of-kin, the substitute decision-maker and the person to contact in case of an emergency; these may not be the same person.
Understand if a nearby hospital has a palliative of end-of-life strategy or approach. As an example, you can look at the Care Plan for the Last Days of Life (835kb pdf) (developed by Government of South Australia, SA Health).
Develop a kit of information for residents and clients using information from What to do when someone dies or What to do after someone dies.
Refer staff to CarerHelp factsheets on Death & Dying including what to do following a death.
When providing home-based support to carers of people with advanced dementia who are dying, best practice includes
- regular face-to-face contact for help with care (medication, equipment, advice) as much as possible by the same staff
- telephone support
- access to written information for carers that guides their care
- attention given to the carer who may feel lonely and isolated
- access to debriefing after a death (as needed) for carers as their role may be demanding in a highly emotive time and on not always taken by choice.