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Partnership produces high-quality palliative care resource

Leading universities, academics and health and aged care peak bodies have been key contributors in new online palliative care resources that were launched this week as part of the Department of Health’s three year End of Life Directions for Aged Care (ELDAC) project.

A new online palliative care resource has been developed in collaboration wiht a number of industry professionals and academics (Source: Shutterstock)
A new online palliative care resource has been developed in collaboration wiht a number of industry professionals and academics (Source: Shutterstock)

The five advisory resources that were worked on in partnership between Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA), Palliative Care Australia, Leading Age Services Australia (LASA), Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) and Catholic Health Australia and academics specialising in aged and palliative care from Queensland University of Technology (QUT), South Australia’s Flinders University and the University of Technology Sydney (ETS).

Their collaboration on the $15 million Government funded ELDAC’s project aims to equip providers with skills and information to help older Australians receive high-quality end of life care in familiar surroundings with little or no need for hospitalisation.

ACSA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Pat Sparrow says the importance of high quality palliative care cannot be understated in an ageing population where there is a growing rate of chronic progressive illness, as well as a desire by many individuals to remain at home in the latter stages of life.

“Resources like those developed by ELDAC will assist GPs, nurses and other palliative and aged care workers to manage in the best way possible what is a highly sensitive stage of life for older Australians and their families,” Ms Sparrow explains.

“These toolkits represent a practical and meaningful use of the insights into palliative care gathered through extensive consultation with professionals at the front-line of palliative care services, including aged care providers.

“Developing high-quality palliative care services in both aged care and people’s own home environment will assist a greater number of older Australians to die a good death surrounded by comfort and support.”

QUT Professor Patsy Yates, who led the project, said it aims to reduce avoidable hospital admissions, shorten hospital stays, and improve quality of care for people in residential and community aged care settings.

"ELDAC is designed to increase understanding and awareness of advance care planning and specialist care in aged care, and to connect the various services so they could work together to improve palliative care," Professor Yates said.

“It will equip care providers to give high-quality, end-of-life care in familiar surroundings with little or no need for hospitalisation.

“Workers in residential aged care, home care, general practice, primary health networks, palliative care services, and allied health will all be able to access ELDAC tools.

The ELDAC toolkits are available now to assist palliative and advanced care planning in five areas of evidence-based practices, including aged care, home care, primary care, partnerships and legal areas.

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