Toolkit Overview and Design
Given the role, increasing care needs, and diversity of care services provided by Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) within aged care, the Allied Health Toolkit aims to support the allied health workforce in delivering evidence-based care for clients and residents at the end of life. An ELDAC survey of AHPs in 2020 showed nearly all respondents had worked with older Australians who had palliative care needs. However, over one-third of respondents reported low levels of confidence in supporting clients or residents with palliative care needs.The majority indicated they would benefit from additional education and training and support in palliative care.1
Expert Advisory Group
The development of the Allied Health Toolkit was guided by an Expert Advisory Group. The group comprised allied health representatives, service providers and aged care staff, and research and educational experts. They advised on scope and context and reviewed content prior to release on the website.
Development of an Allied Health Toolkit
The Allied Health Toolkit is a compilation of resources, tools, and guidance for key allied health professional disciplines to address common and specific care issues arising at the end of life such as nutrition and hydration, supporting function, swallowing, communication, advance care planning, and grief and bereavement. It provides practical advice on referrals and practice management. This toolkit is integrated with relevant guidance and resources found in the other ELDAC toolkits. While there is general content for the broader allied health workforce, there is also specific palliative care content for OTs, physiotherapists, speech pathologists, and dietitians practising within aged care.
Activities supporting the development of content for the toolkit would include:
- A scoping review of the state of the evidence on allied health practice in the palliative care context within residential aged care and in the community where older people are supported by aged care home support.
- An environmental scan for Australian resources, profession peak body guidance, and projects relevant to allied health practice in aged care.
- Review of the funding contexts for allied health provision in aged care.
- Analysis against the implementation framework selected for the ELDAC toolkits.
- Development of evaluation data points to assess toolkit value and performance.
- User involvement in design activities.
- User testing of the resource prior to release.
- Tieman Jennifer, Morgan Deidre, Jones Kelly, Gordon Sue, Chakraborty Amal (2023) Allied health professionals’ contribution to care at end of life in aged care settings. Australian Journal of Primary Health, https://doi.org/10.1071/PY22178