Supporting dignity and care at the end of life

Providing support to residents and their families at the end of life can be one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences for an aged care nurse.

HealthX supports its aged care staff across the country by facilitating access to the resources of the End of Life Directions for Aged Care (ELDAC) program.

Through the ELDAC program, health professionals and aged care workers can access information, guidance and resources to support palliative care and advance care planning for older people and their families.

The ELDAC website (www.eldac.com.au) provides information and links to a range of topics including advance care planning, recognising end of life, managing deterioration and bereavement.

Resources are also tailored for different environments such as residential care and home care.

“For our staff who move around, and particularly in regional and remote locations, access to on-line training and resources is critical,” said Naomi Dunne, Division Manager – Aged care,

“The ELDAC resources have been a great tool for helping our staff take an active and supportive role with residents and their families.”

While COVID-19 related restrictions on visiting have impacted the ability to have important conversations about care decisions and end of life planning, the virus has also highlighted the importance of advance care planning.

“The importance of advance care planning was included in the Australian Government’s pandemic plan,” said Carollyne Palling, HealthX CEO.

“With our staff working across multiple jurisdictions, the ELDAC program provides them with easy access to information that is appropriate for that location.”

Registered Nurse Kim Kim has undertaken placements for HealthX at residential facilities at Emerald, Kingaroy, Cherbourg, Southwest Rocks, Nowra, and Bronte, sites in Queensland and NSW over the past year and a half.

“While the basic principles for advance care planning are the same, the language used and the way things are documented can vary between states,” said Kim Kim,

“Working in aged care facilities, it is not uncommon to see advance care directives and end of life planning being avoided, rushed or completed too late.  Whether the resident is new to the facility or has been living in the facility for years, advance care directives and end of life care planning are not easy topics for discussion.

“Providing a good journey to death is our goal, including maintaining the dignity of the resident, minimising distress for the resident, family and staff and enabling everybody to say their farewells.

“Through the ELDAC website, I can find information that is relevant to where I am which means I can provide consistent and relevant information to residents, their families and other staff in a sensitive and understanding way.”

HealthX has a range of short and long term opportunities for experienced aged care nurses across regional and remote Australia.

If you’re interested in finding out more about aged care nursing in regional and remote Australia, contact HealthX today. Our team will be happy to talk to you about what you’re looking to find and how we can help you get there.

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