High uptake of advance care planning through ELDAC Linkages Program
A guest blog by Annika Thomas, Quality Manager, and Liz McMahon, Marketing and Communications, at Inasmuch Community Ltd
* Inasmuch Community Ltd team members pictured above (L-R): Nilu Adhikari - Clinical Care Coordinator; Apshara Bhandari Shrestha - Clinical Care Coordinator; Kristine Bueno - Acting Facility Manager; Simran Kaur - Registered Nurse; Kate Hurley - Senior Clinical Coordinator.
Inasmuch Community Ltd is a community-based, not-for-profit organisation, with a proud history of providing quality aged care services in Sussex Inlet and Districts for over 60 years. We offer a comprehensive range of services, residential aged care and community respite, home care and retirement villages, allowing residents to age in place as their needs change with time.
Taking part in the ELDAC Linkages Program offered a great opportunity for Inasmuch to work with ELDAC. The program enabled us to access specialty palliative care services, increase the knowledge, skills, and confidence of our staff, and better meet the needs and preferences of our consumers.
It has been a wonderful and thought-provoking experience working with our facilitator. Through the review of palliative and end-of-life care processes and practices, our organisation has incorporated a holistic action plan that addressed identified gaps. Furthermore, it helped facilitate the funding of specialist palliative care services through our local Public Health Network (PHN), thus reducing the financial burden to our organisation.
Thanks to the ELDAC Linkages Program, we have been able to contribute more to the well-being of our consumers, their families, and our employees, with the following results:
- In developing a process for Advance Care Planning (ACP), we consistently achieve high 80% rates of ACP across all three of our aged care services. When admitted, our Welfare Officer (WO) attends the ACP meeting with the consumer and/or their representative, and the document is reviewed annually. For those who don't want to complete an ACP at the time, it is revisited annually or when conditions change. Families expressed gratitude for regular and early conferences, for timely information, and for the opportunity to have their questions answered, which enabled them to prepare and make arrangements. This education extends to the broader community through presentations to seniors on ACPs and training for local GP surgeries to provide ACPs to patients. In this initiative, we aim to increase awareness and uptake of ACP, and to facilitate planning before entering care.
- Inasmuch 'Week of Wellness' initiative was launched for all employees after a health and wellbeing survey was conducted among employees. Staff were encouraged to participate in activities beneficial to them, and integrate relevant strategies into their daily lives, as an extension of their self-care after the sudden death of a staff member.
- Our organisational governance in the Clinical, Information Systems, Education and Workforce, and Policies and Procedures domains have been improved, and strong relationships have been built with our local PHN and members of their specialty services.
- There is now information on palliative care in our orientation and induction program, and additional resources have been added to our learning management system. Palliative care/end of life care knowledge has increased among the staff, and clinical staff are better equipped to recognise and respond to resident deterioration. Care plans are tailored to each resident’s ACP, and we use a collaborative approach to planning care goals, providing palliative care/end of life care and managing dying.