Socio-Political Issues in Aged Care


Added on  2023-04-04

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1. Introduction
Australia has one of the largest proportion of aged people. With such statistics, the
country’s system of aged care is also well organized. Acquisition of aged care skills is, therefore,
one of the most important skills required by healthcare professionals within the Australian
setting. As individuals age, their medical needs are likely to increase. The Australian aged care
industry offers a wide range of health services to the aged population allowing them access to
necessary care levels where and when required as they age. With the rising demands, there has
been a lack of political will to institute the necessary reforms within the Australian healthcare
system. A report released in 2017 showed that about 100,000 older people had been lining up for
government-subsidized healthcare packages done (Armstrong & Collins,2017). The number of
individuals waiting for government subsided home care packed has been rising significantly.
Home care waiting time is among the challenges facing the Australian aged care system.
Commendations for improvement have been made in recent time but not much has been done
(Armstrong & Collins,2017). The Australian palliative care in aged care needs urgent reforms for
improved outcomes of the aged population
2. Evaluation of Palliative aged care in residential aged care
What palliative care is
Palliative care refers to the specialized medical care for persons with life-threatening
illnesses. The focus of palliative care is improving the quality of care for patients together with
their families. This is done through early identification and prevention of suffering from stress
and symptoms associated with serious illnesses. Palliative care also entails flawless assessment
and treatment of issues associated with life-threatening illnesses. In other words, palliative care
offers relief from distressing symptoms and pain associated with serious illnesses. Secondly, it

either speeds up or delays death. Thirdly, it incorporates spiritual and psychological aspects of
care.Fourthly. it provides patients with the necessary support to enable them to live an active life
until the time of their death. In addition, palliative care is meant to offer the necessary support to
families to help them cope during the time of illness and bereavement. Finally, palliative care
sustains life and enables the affected to look at death as a normal process (WHO, 2019).
Conclusively; palliative care has a goal of improving the quality of life for both the family and
Provision of palliative care in residential aged care
As the Australian aging population rises, so has the number of the individual; being
admitted to residential aged facilities. For such individuals, this is usually their last home.
Palliative care in aged residential care is provided by palliative care nurses who are specially
trained to take care of patients with life-threatening illnesses together with their families
(Caresearch, 2017). Usually, these are individuals with many years’ experience in palliative care
equipped with high-level skills through training and experience. Palliative care nurse work in
various settings including acute in-patient facilities, clinics, residential hospices and patient’s
homes (Schroeder & Lorenz,2018).
Provision of palliative care
Palliative care nurses may work in collaboration with a team of specially trained nurses,
doctors and other specialists to offer extra support. Collaboratively, this team treats people stress
and serious illness symptoms such as anxiety, sleeping difficulties, loss of appetite, nausea,
constipation, fatigue, and shortness of breath, depression, and pain to improve patient’s quality
of life(Center to Advance Palliative Care, 2019).

This is done through communication with the patient. The team spends time talking and
listening to patients to ensure that patients understand their treatment choices and options.
Through this aspect, the team helps a patient to choose treatment options that match their
personal goals. The palliative care nurse in collaboration with other specialists also ensures that
the patient's doctors are coordinated and understand what the patient wants. Generally, this is
meant to facilitate improved quality of care and ensure that patients have control over their care
(Center to Advance Palliative Care, 2019).
What supports do they have to access to?
Palliative care nurses need to have access to support from other nurses, doctors, and other
specialists. Generally, these are required to provide an extra layer of support needed for
improved outcomes (Champion, 2017).
How effectively is palliative care is provided?
Although there are well-established care programs in Australia, the programs are not
being used effectively. For example, palliative care referrals are often delayed yet they are
supposed to be done early in the onset of a terminal illness. Patients may also sometimes decline
referrals for various reasons. The doctor may also delay palliative care referrals. Commonly also,
palliative care may reduce hope and cause distress among patients and their families. In addition,
a departure from the treatment of a serious illness to an attempt to make a patient more
comfortable may paper like an abandonment of the patient by the doctor. Unlike palliative care is
provide early, it may expose a patient to additional discomfort and futile treatment
2. A critical discussion of advanced care directives in residential aged care
What they are

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