Help to start a conversation on end-of-life care

Palliative Care Australia has released two new online resources to make it easier for people to record and share their care wishes and preferences at the end of life.

The online Dying to Talk discussion starter and card game were officially launched in Canberra by the Federal Minister for Health Greg Hunt during Palliative Care Week.

PCA CEO Liz Callaghan said the online discussion starter resource expands on the success of the printed version, which has been distributed to 15,000 people around Australia.

“The online discussion starter and card game is an easy, interactive and accessible way for all Australians to work out what is most important for them at end of life,” she said.

The online card game includes an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander specific deck to provide culturally appropriate options such as visiting or dying on country.

“After you input your answers you can download, print or e-mail them to yourself, making it easy to share your wishes with your loved ones, carers or healthcare professionals,” said Ms Callaghan.

A national survey conducted by PCA found that while 85 per cent of Australians believe it is important to have a conversation with family about the care they would like to receive at end of life, only a third of people surveyed have actually had the discussion.

Further, 83 per cent of Australians believe it is important to put their end-of-life wishes in writing, but only 21 per cent have done this.

Access the resources here.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Care
Ensuring that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients feel culturally safe and receive culturally responsive care is a key responsibility of every health care provider. The new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Care resources will help build a path of cultural capability and understanding for supporting care with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. These pages bring together a range of resources and information to help the health care workforce and carers in providing palliative care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Indigenous people’s end of life care wishes
The Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM) and Palliative Care Australia has recently launched Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Dying to Talk resources with the Hon Ken Wyatt, Minister for Indigenous Health. Focus groups with community members ensured the Discussion Starter and the Dying to Talk Cards were culturally safe and useful. Click here to read more.

Dying to Talk encourages Australians of all ages and levels of health to talk about dying. 82% of Australians think it is important to talk to their family about how they would want to be cared for at the end of their life. Only 28% have done so. The Dying to Talk Discussion Starter guides you through talking with your loved ones. Find both resources here.

A new guideline for inserting and delivering medication via the subcutaneous route developed by the Eastern Metropolitan Region Palliative Care Consortium can be found here: Guidelines for using the BD Saf-T-Intima System in Residential Aged Care Facilities

New VitalTalk website
VitalTalk’s new website aims to nurture healthier connections between patients and clinicians. Dr Robert Arnold, a keynote speaker at the 2014 PCV Conference, is a regular contributor. If you’ve ever had trouble finding an Oncotalk, Intensivetalk, or Toughtalk resource, they are now all together in the one site, along with videos, chapters, articles, and powerpoint talks. Explore and download

. Guidelines for using the BD Saf-T-Intima System in Aged Care
. Noisy Breathing at the End of Life- family leaflet 2016
. Management of Respiratory Secretions in the Terminal Phase May 2016
. Syringe Driver Drug Compatibilities- May 2016
. Opioid Conversions May 2016

Online education resource to deliver palliative care

A new online resource has been launched to support aged care workers to deliver evidence-based palliative care to older Australians.

The resource, launched during Palliative Care Week, provides health professionals and support staff with the latest evidence and clinical tools to guide their practice, including evidence summaries, educational videos and practice resources.

palliAGED is funded by the federal government and managed by Flinders University through the CareSearch website.

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