Some thoughts on reframing aged care facilities as a ‘hospice’ instead of a ‘home’

Having worked in (what were then referred to as) nursing homes whilst I was training,
I had often wondered about the implications of labels and terminology in the context of an aged care facility. For instance, did working in a nursing ‘home’ somehow diminish, in some eyes, a respect for the clinical skills required and level of care provided in this setting?

One of the most obvious distinctions to me at that time, was that for nurses ‘Betty’ was not a patient. Of course, she had a care plan, but she was a resident among a community of other residents. We espoused healthy ageing, ageing in place, and of course, our nursing care was underpinned by the principles of what we now refer to as a palliative approach.

Residential aged care is no doubt a complex area impacting profoundly on various social and health factors across different levels of our society. What feels like home for some residents, may not feel so homely to others. But how should health care professionals view aged care facilities? And do our Elders receive care appropriate to their needs?

I’m not convinced the answers to these questions are by any means straight forward. But I want to share what I found to be a very interesting and somewhat challenging read from Professors Jane Phillips and David Currow. It can be accessed freely from the journal Collegian here.

What are your thoughts?

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