Traditionally, resources for palliative care are tailored for clinical environments and training does not often translate into the home or community care environment easily. There are often significant differences in access to resources, equipment and specialist providers between in-home and clinical environments. As a result, My care Solution targeted their palliative care training needs to the role and responsibilities of a Caregiver.
“For some time, we have found it difficult to access training tools specific to the in-home care environment that would help us better prepare families in their time of need.”
My Care Solution’s involvement in the ELDAC Working Together program has improved the overall understanding of palliative care and the role of the non-clinical caregiver. Upskilling caregivers has been a key component of the program’s success within caregivers now skilled in loss and grief, changes in conditions and care needs, communication skills in palliative care and approaches to treatment and care.
“The home care tools and resources provided through the ELDAC Working Together program have helped improve staff knowledge, skills and confidence in providing palliative care.”
The key benefits of My Care Solution’s involvement in the ELDAC Working Together program include:
- Improved overall understanding of palliative care and the role of a non-clinical caregiver
- Improved knowledge and provision of staff training in all aspects of palliative and end-of-life care
- Collaboration with a palliative care Nurse Practitioner to develop and release a training resource – the My Care Solution Palliative Care Caregiver Manual
Following the rollout of the Palliative Care Caregiver Manual and training, My Care Solution was contacted by Jane* requesting urgent assistance for her husband, Donald*. Donald had Parkinson’s disease, was experiencing a significant decline and Jane was severely burnt out from her carer duties. Within half an hour, a Manager and Client Care Coordinator met with Jane and Donald in their home to discuss care and how My Care Solution may be able to provide support.
Resources developed with the assistance of the ELDAC Working Together program were instrumental in identifying Donald’s end-of-life care needs. This was a difficult discussion for staff to have with Jane. However, our staff credit the loss and grief section of training combined with the section on emotions and communication as having helped them facilitate this conversation with empathy and understanding. With Jane’s permission, My Care Solution was able to refer Donald to the local palliative care team.
An overnight care service was organised on this night to support Jane. The palliative care team came to undertake an assessment on the next day, putting in services and liaising with Donald’s GP.
The My Care Solution team worked with the palliative care team and Donald’s GP, eventually increasing Donald’s in-home support to 24/7 two-person assist. One of Donald’s caregivers, Denise*, stated that the palliative care training she received was an invaluable learning tool. The other caregiver, Lauren*, stated that the training helped her understand her role and the best way to communicate with members of the client’s family.
The My Care Solution Regional Care Manager identified that the delivery of the ELDAC Working Together program helped their team enormously, ensuring they had the confidence, knowledge and skills to deliver quality palliative care in the home and support members of the client’s family in the process.
“Jane knew she was not alone and had people that cared for her emotional wellbeing as well as the care of her husband,” the Regional Care Manager said.
“Not everyone gets to experience making this much of a difference.”
Names have been changed to maintain confidentiality. Article from the End of Life Directions for Aged Care Magazine.