Taking care to the next level
It’s official – Uniting AgeWell is being publicly recognised for our palliative care not only in southern, but now in northern Tasmania.
And huge congratulations to Suezanne Horder and the team at Aldersgate Kings Meadows Community for being runners-up in the prestigious Outstanding Palliative Care Organisation in the recent Palliative Care Tasmania awards.
In 2018, Ningana in Hobart was awarded the Outstanding Palliative Care Organisation award for introducing a suite of efforts to open up conversations about death and dying.
Suezanne says the ELDAC Working Together Program has helped foster stronger local network, referral and specialist palliative care agency connections, empowered staff through best practice education and resource access and, improved staff skills, knowledge and confidence in palliative care.
Internally, improved rigour in the multi-disciplinary communication, review and care planning has provided a more comprehensive integrated planning and service delivery for residents. Stronger external linkages to local networks, referrers and specialist palliative care agencies are also a direct outcome of being involved in the program.
Suezanne says staff engagement in service of palliative care also increased as they identified they wanted to build on their current knowledge and skills to further support and improve meaningful palliative care service delivery for residents and their families.
In conjunction with Palliative Care Tasmania, Uniting AgeWell’s Palliative Care Specialist and pharmacy consultants developed a twelve-week learning program. The program included sessions on communication, grief and loss, clinical care and purposeful connections.
Staff reported they loved the education program and resources provided, highlighting the training increased their knowledge and improved their understanding of the resident journey, care needs and the importance of good communication, sensory elements and the environment itself.
Reconnecting with the local network of palliative care agencies and providers re-established and strengthened links. These network links also helped to facilitate resource and knowledge transfer from those with current expertise and best practice in palliative care with a focus on creating a positive interface between acute and aged care services.
• Established and strengthened local network, referral and specialist palliative care agency network connections.
• Provided a comprehensive, best practice platform to educate and empower staff including both an ongoing education and orientation programs.
• Improved rigour in multidisciplinary communication, review and care planning with weekly meetings.
• Provided access to resources that has improved staff skills, knowledge and confidence in palliative care including the development of HP and staff resources to support care planning.
One family spoke of the amazing care and support staff provided, describing the end as “a beautiful ending to a good life and good memories for the family.”
Suezanne summed up the feelings of her team. “We were all proud and privileged to support this resident and family on this gentle journey that brought resolve and grace to the family.”