A key theme of ANZSPM 2016 is providing palliative care for the older person. There is perhaps no greater change to the palliative care landscape than that of our ageing population, and the challenges that this will pose how we approach and define palliative care. This short series of posts will explore some of the key issues in this area of practice.
A particular area of uncertainty currently is how to best provide palliative care for older people; what models of care are best able to the needs of our community? How palliative care is provided in aged care often relies on a palliative approach to care as exemplified by major Australian projects to enhance the care provided by Aged Care Facilities and primary care providers such as The Palliative Approach Toolkit and Decision Assist. Approaches to the interface or integration of specialist palliative care services into such care vary considerably, and there is currently limited evidence to support a system wide approach. Recent studies highlighting the efficacy and feasibility of approaches to integrating specialist care into an aged care setting show some early evidence of possible ways forward.
The EAPC declaration on Palliative Care for Older People highlights that improving care requires first of all recognising the significant needs of this population, needs that area currently often unaddressed. This challenged will be taken up At ANZSPM 2016 with a workshop providing resources on palliative care for older adults will be conducted by Drs Moffat, Hawkins, and Professor McGregor. Other focuses of this workshop will include an update on the palliative approach to frailty and dementia, which will be topics of subsequent blog posts this week.
Palliverse has also been informed that ANZSPM 2016 will see the first meeting of the ANZSPM Palliative Care for the Older Person Special Interest Group on Friday the 9th of September (final details TBC). For any enquiries about this important meeting please contact Felicity Hawkins (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Check back for more on palliative care for the older person later in the week.