palliAGED resources for Standard 8
Quality care at the end of life is important in the last months and weeks of life as well as during the period when the person is dying. Good care supports the person, their family and friends as well as those involved in providing domestic and clinical care. The governance processes are critical in ensuring that there is a respectful culture, good clinical practices, and appropriate accountability.
In Focus Aged Care Standards
Standards provide a statement of the expected level of care that someone can expect from an organisation providing a good or a service. palliAGED has published an In Focus series providing a summary of considerations relating to each of the Aged Care Quality Standards in the context of palliative care at the end of life. In particular, governance processes need to support consumer choice and dignity and this essential organisational understanding is addressed in In Focus Standard 1.
Advocacy is a process of supporting and enabling people to express their opinions and concerns, to access information and services, to defend and promote their rights and responsibilities, and to explore choices and options. This is important with respect to end of life so that each older person has access to the resources and services they need and to ensure their autonomy and wishes are protected. The aged care workforce has an important role in ensuring aged care consumers are aware of their rights and have avenues to contribute to planning, delivery and evaluation of care and services. In Focus Standard 7 looks at Human Resources and the need for a skilled and qualified workforce There is also an evidence overview and practice resources relating to advocacy.
People involved in governance roles including those holding a position on the Boards of Aged Care Services need to have a good understanding of the Australian context for aged care and palliative care. The Australian Context pages provide an overview of issues relevant to governance including an overview of Australia’s aged care system, information on specific population groups, consumer influences and trends, and policy directions in palliative care.
Dignity and Quality of Life
There is a complex interrelationship between dignity, autonomy and personal identity. This also interplays with risk which is a key issue for consideration in organisational and clinical governance processes. These issues were also discussed in the February palliAGED Insight article on Living well until death (231kb pdf). There is an evidence overview and practice resources in dignity and quality of life.
Standard 8 requires organisations to have systems to provide protections and safeguards to ensure that older people are free from exploitation, violence and abuse. There is an evidence overview and practice resources providing information about elder abuse.
For the Community
Standard 8 actively represents the importance of the older person in all aspects of governance systems and processes. Family and friends are part of the care system for the older person and become increasingly important at the end of life. There is a Community section within palliAGED that links to resources for family members and for others in the community who will be involved in care and decision making at the end of life.
Practice Tip Sheets
The following palliAGED Practice Tip sheets may also be helpful in ensuring quality care
Talking within the Aged Care Team:
There are also a large number of Practice Tip sheets dealing with clinical issues which are important in palliative care.
ELDAC Residential Aged Care Toolkit
The Support Systems and Quality Improvement pages in the Organisational Support section of this toolkit has materials on policies and procedures that can help build a framework for end of life care. The Support Systems and Quality Improvement pages in the Organisational Support section of this toolkit has materials on policies and procedures that can help build a framework for end of life care.