The PalliAGED program, which provides important evidence-based medical and practical information to support the provision of palliative care to older people, was launched by Federal Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt during a Palliative Care Week function at Parliament House.
Minister Wyatt says a civilisation can be measured by how it treats it older people, and that this is even more meaningful with it comes to catering for the ages and vulnerable at the concluding stages of their lives.
“This new online resource collects under one umbrella a wide range of valuable research data and information,” Mr Wyatt says. “It features new medications, medical practise, models of care, advice on cultural and other considerations, symptoms and treatment decisions, risk analysis, ways to support people and their families and public and consumer experience.
“All of this will help health professionals, aged care staff, family and friends, to provide the best possible care for older people at the end stage of their life.”
PalliAGED is funded by the Australian government and is managed by Flinders University in South Australia through the CareSearch website. Working with evidence experts and members of the aged care, primary care and palliative care sectors, the CareSearch Project Team searched the world’s research literature to find the best evidence to support palliative care.
PalliAGED lead researcher Associate Professor Jennifer Tieman says the resource will ensure that evidence-based palliative care guidance reaches the people who need it most.
“Through programs like the Palliative Approach in Residential Aged Care (APRAC) and Palliative Approach for Aged Care in the Community (COMPAC) Guidelines, Australia has led the world in providing evidence-based support for palliative care in aged care,” Ms Tieman says.
“We were the first to acknowledge, compile and promote the availability and importance of evidence that could guide and support palliative care for older people.”
The PalliAGED website will support nurses and care workers in residential aged care or community care, general practioners and general practice nurses, allied health professionals and support staff with evidence, tools, guidance and practice resources about palliative care for older people.
Mr Wyatt says 15 percent of the Australian population, a total of 3.7 million people, were aged 65 and over last year.
“By 2026, it is estimated that 18 per cent of the population will be aged 65 years and over (5.0 million people) and 2.3 per cent (644,000 people) will be 85 years and over,” he says. “Today, thanks to advances in medical science and care, Australians are living longer and healthier lives - we look forward to longevity.
“When we require palliative care this should become the centre of comfort and compassion towards people, their families and the wider community.”