Supporting Aged Care Workforce Capability

Supporting Aged Care Workforce Capability


Care is provided by people. For aged care, increasing the workforce to meet the anticipated demand for care is a high priority. Ensuring that the workforce has the skills, knowledge, and capabilities to provide care for older people across the last months and days of life is also critical.

An ageing population

Australians are living longer and dying older. And many will have used aged care services in the eight years before their death.

In 2020, there were 161,300 deaths registered in Australia. Sixty-six per cent of deaths registered in Australia in 2020 were among people aged 75 or over (60% for males and 73% for females). The median age at death was 79 years for males and 85 years for females (AIHW, 2022).


Figure 1: Deaths in Australia by sex and age group, 2020Source: AIHW National Mortality Database (Table S2.1)


Understanding the Aged Care Workforce

The aged care workforce plays a significant role in supporting older people with palliative care needs in residential aged care settings as well for those living at home and in receipt of a home care package. Aged care workers, nurses, allied health professionals, and GPs need access to relevant resources and programs to support their palliative care knowledge and practice in meeting client needs and the expectations of recent reform agendas.

Supporting aged care staff and services

palliAGED has created a range of evidence-based resources to support Australia's aged care workforce to learn, plan, and provide palliative care. They include online modules, Practice Tips booklets for Nurse and for Careworkers, and forms that can be used by staff and services. You can also embed the palliAGED modules in your own Learning Management System.

Check out the Getting Started page to find out how palliAGED resources can support your workforce and your service.

Services can also order resource packs for there teams. The following packs are available:

From palliAGED:

From CareSearch

Each pack contain forms and checklists to support and guide best practice when providing palliative care and care at the end of life. Build staff capability by introducing them as part of training in association with the Practice Tip Sheets and the Introduction modules manual. How you use the packs will depend on your care context and needs, but the validated SPICT tools for recognising change and deterioration are a great way to start discussions about planning care that is person-centred.

For more experienced staff developing local policy and guidance to align with the aged care standards, remember the palliAGED Evidence Centre is there to provide you with summaries of what we know with what certainty across 38 topics relevant to the care of older people.

Our Evidence Brief, Understanding the Aged Care Workforce, outlines some of these issues.


Read some of our Palliative Perspectives blogs:

Cognitive impairment and dementia – using evidence to make a difference.
A blog post written by Dr. Katrina Erny-Albrecht and Susan Gravier



Partner Resources:

There are other national palliative care projects that can develop workforce capability in personal and clinical care delivery. They include:

The Advance Project Logo

The Advance Project (Dementia)

Supports GPs, Practice Nurses and Practice Managers in initiating advance care planning and advance care conversations.



End of Life Care Directions for Aged Care (ELDAC)

Offers toolkits to help residential and aged care as well as engagement with services.

Page created 28 November 2022