COVID-19 Webinar Series - ELDAC
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ELDAC COVID-19 Webinar Series

What Age Care Providers Need to Know About Older Australians and End of Life Care

The aged care sector is facing an unprecedented challenge with the COVID-19 pandemic. Older Australians have an increased mortality rate if they contract COVID-19 and depending on their pre-morbid condition careful consideration is required to ensure the best care is provided within the right setting. Conversations around treatment decisions and quality of life are critical to ensure an individual’s wishes are known. This webinar series provide a Q&A style format for frontline staff with experts within the aged care and specialist palliative care sectors to explore a broad range of issues facing those working in the aged care sector.

Webinar Aims

The aim of the webinars is to identify the palliative care issues facing residential aged care and home care providers in the context of COVID-19. Topics discussed include:

  • Understanding the palliative care clinical management needs of a resident/client with COVID-19, including recognition and management of deterioration.
  • Processes and decision making around transfer to hospital.
  • Access to and delivery of end of life medications.
  • Home care co-ordination through integration arrangements with General Practitioners, community palliative care teams and geriatrician outreach services, including telehealth.
  • Residential Aged Care services accessing external supports, such as specialist palliative care, General Practitioners, geriatric outreach services and nurse practitioners, including the use of telehealth.

Home Care Providers Webinar

Thank you to everyone who attended the online webinar held Thursday 30th April.

The aim of this webinar is to identify the palliative care issues facing home care providers in the context of COVID-19.

Residential Aged Care Webinar

Thank you to everyone who attended the online webinar held Wednesday 15th April.

The aim of this webinar is to understand the palliative care issues facing residential aged care in the context of COVID-19.

Webinar Resources

COVID-19 Palliative Care Factsheets

These three factsheets have been developed based on the topics raised during the COVID-19 Webinar Series and provide guidance for end of life care during COVID-19.

Relevant Resources for both Residential and Home Care

National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce Guidelines

The taskforce supports Australia’s healthcare professionals caring for people with COVID-19. The clinical guidelines are evidence-based, continually updated and cover:

  • General Information
  • Living Guidelines
  • Clinical Flowcharts
  • Treatment & Monitoring
  • Next steps in care

Australia and New Zealand Specialist Palliative Medicine (ANZSPM) COVID-19 Special Interest Group (COVID-19 SIG) has developed guidance for COVID-19.  The best practice guidelines are available on the ANZSPM open-access Publications/Guidance Documents webpage and include:

  • Palliative Care in the COVID-19 context (version 1, April 2020) (pdf, 204k)
  • Palliative Care Communication in the COVID-19 context (version 1, April 2020) (pdf, 452k)
  • Pandemic-Context Palliative Care triage - a response to COVID-19 (version 1, April 2020) (pdf, 271k)
  • Solutions to supply and access issues for palliative care medication during COVID-19 (version 1, April 2020) (pdf, 370k)
  • Further Symptom Management in COVID-19 patients - Treatment Approaches and Alternative Routes (version 1, June 2020) (pdf, 702k)
  • Peri & Post-death COVID-19 care at home (version 1, May 2020) (pdf, 342k)
  • Essential PEOLC in the COVID-19 pandemic (version 2, June 2020) (pdf, 209k)
  • Visitor Limitations to hospitals and palliative care units in the COVID-19 Context (version 1, August 2020) (pdf, 224k)
  • Bereavement and the COVID-19 pandemic (version 2, June 2020) (pdf, 252k)

The Supportive and Palliative Care Indicator Tool (SPICTTM) can help you to identify a person whose health is deteriorating.  More on the SPICT is available at the ELDAC Toolkits:

Recommended Journal Articles on Palliative Care during a Pandemic

  1. Arya A, Buchman S, Gagnon B, Downar J (2020 epub). Pandemic palliative care: beyond ventilators and saving lives (pdf, 67kb), Canadian Medical Association Journal, 92:E400-4.doi: 10.1503/cmaj.200465.
  2. Australian Medical Association (AMA) Position Statement (2008, Revised 2014).  Ethical Considerations for Medical Practitioners in Disaster Response in Australia Australian Medical Association (AMA) (pdf, 125kb), Position Statement: Ethical Considerations for Medical Practitioners in Public Health Emergencies in Australia.
  3. Downar J, Seccareccia D; Associated Medical Services Inc. Educational Fellows in Care at the End of Life (2010). Palliating a pandemic: "all patients must be cared for" (pdf, 79kb), Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 39(2):291-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2009.11.241.

Home Care Specific Resources

The augmented caring@home COVID-19 packages for clinical service providers discussed during the ELDAC by Professor Elizabeth Reymond can be ordered here.  These packs are funded by the Australian Government and include an Emergency COVID-19 pack to support home-based care and help limit risks of community COVID-19 transmission.

Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) developed guidelines as part of an integrated clinical care management approach called COVID-19: Hospital Pre-admission Guidance for Home Care Providers (pdf, 330kb).  This resource supports home care providers with local hospital pre-admission procedures for home care recipients who are suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases and require transfer to hospital.

Family and Carer Resources

CarerHelp has developed specific COVID-19 resources for families or anyone caring for a person at the end of life during the COVID-19 pandemic.  These include factsheets and information on being a carer during the pandemic.

Page updated 26 October 2020