Experts launch palliative care website

An online resource has been launched to support palliative care and advance care planning for older Australians.

End of Life Directions for Aged Care (ELDAC) is a three-year, $15 million project funded by the Australian Government Department of Health to provide a direct pathway for those working in aged and palliative care to find meaningful and practical materials they can use when providing care to older Australians.

It has been developed by a consortium of experts including Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Flinders University and University of Technology Sydney, as well as partners Palliative Care Australia, Aged and Community Services Australia, Leading Age Services Australia, Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association and Catholic Health Australia.

Professor Patsy Yates from consortium leader QUT, says ELDAC is designed not to duplicate existing resources, but to build on existing work, including evidence developed for the palliAGED website and the resources and information available through Advance Care Planning Australia and Palliative Care Australia.

“ELDAC will create partnership opportunities and activities, where providers will be encouraged to work together to provide a coordinated and collaborative service to older Australians. Provider representatives will also be engaged in the project in a way that ensures that the project resources are practical and useful,” Professor Yates said.

Flinders Professor Jennifer Tieman says ELDAC will 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 system.

“The navigation system is designed to help users with the challenge of finding state-specific information relating to consumer information and best practice, which will in turn help them to deliver good palliative care,” says Professor Tieman, CareSearch director, Palliative and Supportive Services and Dean (Research) at Flinders University’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

Professor Deb Parker, from University of Technology Sydney, said ELDAC includes five interactive toolkits, built and reviewed by aged and palliative care experts, to help users to develop a plan and follow evidence-based recommendations or practices in aged care, home care, primary care, partnerships and legal areas.

“All five toolkits provide up-to-date clinical evidence, learning opportunities and organisational tools to support palliative care and advance care planning,” Professor Parker says.

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.

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