Death in Aged care
Planning for death in a Regional Aged Care Facility.
- There are 4 residential aged care facilities in Darwin.
- Where appropriate the Palliative Care Clinical Nurse Coordinator (CNC) works in collaboration with the GPs and aged care facility staff in managing patients needing specialist palliative care input in residential Aged care facilities.
- The aim is for the patients to remain in the residential facilities while receiving specialist palliative Care input.
Criteria for admission to Palliative Service
- Patients who are accepted under palliative care should have clear goals and ceiling of care (No further hospital admissions, not for resuscitation, not for further IV antibiotics and for comfort measures only)
- Patients who are likely to die within months.
New referrals are accepted for;
- Symptom management
- End of Life Care
The CNC can advise GPs on medication management for EOLC patients and ensures those are prescribed in case the patient deteriorates
- Home visits are done by the Nurse Practitioner/CNC on need basis depending on patient’s needs and request from Nursing home staff and the GP.
- The GP manages other symptoms not needing specialist Palliative Care
Residential Care Facilities are non-Governmental Organisations hence funded for their own equipment through aged care packages.
All the Residential facilities have their own syringe drivers but sometimes we can loan one depending on availability in Palliative Care.
Post Death Follow-up
Bereavement follow up is usually done by the nursing home staff as they will have known the patient and family longer.
The Palliative care CNC can provide education services to the nursing home staff including GPs ongoing basis.
- Education is based on End of life and symptom issues.
- Medication use in elderly patients
- Advance personal planning
- Concept of a Palliative Care approach
- Bereavement in collaboration with Palliative Care Social Worker