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Palliative Care in Residential Aged Care: An Overview

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Added on  2023-03-17

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This article provides an overview of palliative care in residential aged care facilities. It discusses the importance of palliative care in improving the quality of life for elderly patients and explores the role of advanced care planning and directives in palliative care. The article also examines the legal and ethical issues surrounding palliative care provision and highlights the contemporary issues facing palliative care in aged care facilities. Finally, it suggests ways to improve the provision of palliative care.

Palliative Care in Residential Aged Care: An Overview

   Added on 2023-03-17

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Running head: AGED CARE 1
Palliative Care in Residential Aged Care: An Overview_1
The population in the society is aging and more people living with the wrath of severe
chronic illnesses. Residential aged care provides a wide choice of care provision and
accommodation for old people living independently in their residential homes. Such is palliative
care. In Australia, the National Palliative Care Program is dedicated to providing extensive
service improvement in the country for the last decades. Palliative care is under residential aged
care in the country and is supported by the Commonwealth government and governed by the
Aged Care Act of 1997. The National Palliative Care was endorsed by the government in 2010
on the influence of Commonwealth and state and territory governments to implement policies
and strategies for people nearing their end of life stage. End of life stage refers to the end times
of life for a person who is suffering from life-limiting illnesses and is speedily approaching
death. Life-limiting illnesses are chronic which are incurable and patients suffering from this
have little to no prospect of life. Palliative care is hence dedicated to improving the lives of these
patients as their end of time approaches by treating symptoms that may be physical, spiritual or
social. This involves personal care unit and 24-hour provision of nursing care to many old people
who are becoming frail and unwell in their homes. To get admission to an aged care home, one
needs to contact the Aged Care Assessment Services which will, in turn, send a healthcare
provider to access the necessity and eligibility for approval. A wide range of accommodation and
care options now exist for elderly people getting hardships living independently. According to
Mitchell (2011), Urgent care services ought to be provided to cater for the multi-faceted
requirements of this generation of the elderly. Palliative care forms a crucial model of residential
aged care as discussed below.
Palliative Care in Residential Aged Care: An Overview_2
Palliative care provision
One of the approaches to providing care in Aged care facilities is through the delivery of
palliative care. WHO defined palliate care as a methodology directed to increase the quality of
life for equally the patients and close family members by taking care of impediments correlated
to life-threatening illnesses. This includes the liberation of pain and misery through the prompt
diagnosis of the illness, and impeccable assessment of other non-curative treatment that will
improve on the physical, social, and physiological needs of the patient.
Quest (2011) describes palliative healthcare as a methodology that is aimed at improving
the life class of patients facing attributed to life-threatening ailments through prophylaxis and
relied on suffering. Mitigation of patients suffering can be through an early diagnostic of
infections, impeccable assessment, and treatment. Palliative care is a necessary necessity for a
society which is progressively getting composed of the old. Palliative care purposes at improving
the quality of medical life for elderly people by improving their dignity care and living
How palliative care is applied in residential aged
Palliative care is not just a process but an integrated philosophy for the overall care of
the patients and family. This permits efficient interaction and provision of healthcare between the
aged care team and the patients and the patient's family. Palliative residential aged care is
delivered in different ways liable to availability of resources the geographic location. Care
provision includes consultations to larger hospitals and patients receive the palliative care on the
basis of necessity and not prognosis. Palliative care; Acknowledges life's mortality and regards
death as an unavoidable normal process, the care neither postpones nor hastens death. It focuses
on Providing pain relief and other distressing symptoms assimilates the psychological social and
Palliative Care in Residential Aged Care: An Overview_3
spiritual facets of care and presents a support system for patients’ family members cope with the
sickness and in their own grief.
Pain management
The torture of physical pain is the most ill-fated part of plentiful healthy conditions
nearing the end life stage. Other than the physical pain, pain is also inclusive of social,
physiological, or spiritual pain. Though universal, palliative healthcare ensures not all will
experience the pain. In a journal, by Hello Care (2018), the first principle that is used by
palliative healthcare is a full assessment of the origin of underlying pain and then executing the
steps for pain relief. WHO recommends when pain occurs, it should be given by the clock rather
than on demand and should follow the older; non-opioids like paracetamol and aspirin, mild
opioids like codeine and last strong opioids like morphine until a patient is liberated from the
Palliative care helps patients living with terminal illnesses such as cancer, heart disease,
dementia, and other ill term illnesses live comfortably as possible at the end of life stage of the
patient. The team of health care professionals work to their level best in providing a wide range
of care services tailored to the specific needs of the patient. Apart from the residential aged care
facility, Palliative care can be provided at homes, hospitals, hospice, or palliative care units
Discussion on Advanced care planning (ACP) and Advanced care directives (ACD) in palliative
Crispin (2015) defines advanced care planning as the process of permitting persons to
plan ahead prior to any forthcoming loss in a decision-making capacity. Advanced care directive
is a document that any resident makes while still in the well-being capacity and the documents
can be utilized once he or she can no longer make the decisions especially in old age. The
Palliative Care in Residential Aged Care: An Overview_4

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