In South Eastern NSW there are currently more than 110,000 people aged over 65 years, who may at some stage in their life, need to access aged care services.
Social isolation in the elderly has been identified as a major risk factor. The My Aged Care website provides useful information regarding social support and activities via the Community Visitors Scheme.
In a dedicated section for service providers, you can make a referral to My Aged Care, find the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) that is most appropriate for your client’s needs, update your details on the service finder, and register with the National Health Services Directory.
Referral templates for My Aged Care can also be found in our Resource library.
New South Wales patients receiving palliative care, their carers and families, have access to a new service for additional advice and support during the after hours period.
The Palliative Care After Hours Helpline, commenced on 1 March 2016, provides professional information, support and advice for palliative care patients, their carers, parents and families as well as health professionals.
Intended to give people more choice about the care they receive at home, the Helpline provides tailored advice and support at night, on weekends and public holidays:
GPs involved in palliative care in Southern NSW now have the option of closing the after hours gap for their palliative care patients. In consultation with the patient and their family, the GP may elect to complete a NSW Ambulance Authorised Palliative Care Plan. For more information click here.
In an effort to better support GPs to provide the highest quality end-of-life care to patients, here is a list of support services available in the Illawarra Shoalhaven.
A booklet has also been produced by Dr Roger Cole, for and on behalf of the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District to provide medical practitioners with practical therapeutic approaches to common symptoms encountered in the palliative care setting.
The booklet aims to give practitioners quick, user friendly recipes to manage the vast majority of symptom control problems we encounter in the care of terminally ill patients.
The palliative care project has been operating in the Illawarra for nearly 2 years, and is now extending into the Shoalhaven.
GPs are the care managers of community patients and this project aims to provide support for your primary care of patients who are linked with the palliative care service and are approaching the end stage of their disease.
When a patient is linked with the Shoalhaven palliative care service, a link is also made to the Primary Health Nurses (aka Community Nurses). The protocol is that after the initial visit, the Primary Health Nurse will fax information to the patient’s GP and kindly request the completion, by signature, of a standard crisis medication chart and scripts for the 4 parenteral medications on the chart. These orders are kept in the patient’s home and the scripts are held at the patient’s pharmacy.
You should have recently received some initial information about it via email. A medication form is now available here. For further information please contact the Specialist Palliative Care Service on 4223 8380 (Illawarra) or 4464 6983 (Shoalhaven).
Advance is a free toolkit of screening and assessment tools, designed to support nurses in Australian general practices to work with general practitioners to initiate advance care planning and palliative care in everyday general practice. Find out more >
The Aged Care After Hours Program (ACAHP) aimed to improve the quality of care in residential aged care facilities (RACFs) after hours through the development of an Emergency Decision Guidelines Tool and staff training package. Find out more >
Identify, Situation, Background, Assessment, Request (ISBAR) and Emergency Decision Guidelines (EDG) are a guide for making decisions about an acutely unwell and deteriorating resident within a residential aged care facility.
ISBAR is a standardised and structured communication tool and is promoted as a means of improving resident’s safety. It is acknowledged and promoted by the World Health Organisation and Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Healthcare.
EDG is a tool that compliments the ISBAR by providing standardised guidelines to assist RACF staff with emergency decisions when caring for unwell residents. Residential aged care staff can use the guidelines to decide on the course of action for common medical conditions and to help provide enough clinical information over the telephone for the GP, paramedics or hospital staff about the unwell resident.
Other useful resources that may support your work with older people can be found here.