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Online resource to improve end-of-life care

12th April 2018

Health and palliative care workers now have a new online resource that provides them with direct access to information and practical materials they can use when caring for older Australians.

 

End of Life Directions for AGED Care (ELDAC) is a $15 million project funded by the Australian Government Department of Health for workers in residential aged care, home care, general practice, primary health networks, palliative care services and allied health.

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.

“ELDAC doesn’t duplicate existing resources but builds on it including evidence developed for palliAGED  and the expertise of Advance Care Planning Australia.

“ELDAC will create partnerships opportunities and activities, where providers are encouraged to work collaboratively to provide a coordinated service to older Australians.

“People working in the field will also be engaged to ensure that the project resources are practical and useful."

Project co-lead University of Technology Sydney Professor Deb Parker said ELDAC included interactive toolkits that have been built and reviewed by aged and palliative care experts.

“The five interactive toolkits help users to develop a plan and follow evidence-based recommendations or practices in aged care, home care, primary care, partnerships as well as legal and policy areas,” Professor Parker said.

“The toolkits provide up-to-date clinical evidence, learning opportunities and organisational tools to support palliative care and advance care planning.”

ELDAC co-lead Flinders University Professor Jennifer Tieman said ELDAC would help to guide users through its established resources available on the website, with both a free-call phone advisory service during office hours and 24/7 web-based navigation service.

“The navigation service is designed to help users with the challenge of finding state-specific information relating to consumer information, best practice, and templates to deliver good palliative care,” Professor Tieman said.

 In the coming months ELDAC will see a number of exciting progressions including a digital dashboard that will be embedded into the technology that aged care workers use in supporting older people at the end of life.

Professor Patsy Yates, from QUT is leading the consortium conducting the project, which also includes Flinders University and University of Technology Sydney (UTS), along with partners Palliative Care Australia (PCA), Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA), Leading Age Services Australia (LASA), Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) and Catholic Health Australia (CHA).

More about ELDAC.

Related article: $15 million palliative care project for aged care services

Image 1:  Austock    Second image: iStock

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