Training to deliver advanced care plans

23 May 2023 in General

Clinical Staff receive training on how to talk about advanced care plans

MYVISTA clinical staff have been enhancing their skills and knowledge around providing end of life care and support for aged care residents and their families.

In workshops given by the Metropolitan Palliative Care Consultancy Service, MYVISTA clinical staff are exploring the best approaches on how to talk with residents and their families about what preferences they may have about end of life or palliative care so that it can inform their care plan and provide a guide to staff.

Sensitive discussion and planning ahead of time can enable families to focus on spending precious time with their loved one without the added stress of making confronting decisions as their loved one’s care needs rapidly change. It can also provide an opportunity for everyone to talk through particular fears or worries they may have, such as around feeling pain or what will happen to a partner after they have gone. Talking through ‘what is going to happen’ can be reassuring and be a psychological comfort which gives the resident a sense of peace.

The training is being given as part of the End of Life and Palliative Care Project that is currently underway within MYVISTA that has been funded by the WA Department of Health and the WA Primary Health Alliance. MYVISTA is one of only four aged care providers in WA to have secured funding to deliver this project.

CEO Irene Mooney said although end-of-life care is a difficult subject to discuss, ensuring that staff are equipped to do so was beneficial for everyone. “Our staff care very much about the residents and want them to live as well as possible right until the end. Personal preferences are very important, and as a multicultural organisation, part of our care is to ensure people’s cultural practices around end-of-life are supported.

“In many cultures, talking about death and dying is avoided for fear of upsetting everyone or being regarded as ‘bad luck’. The training will assist our staff to have brave conversations, using language that is easily understood by the residents and their families. It’s normal to find that many people are not familiar with terms like ‘end of life or advanced care plans’, so we need to gently introduce these concepts to the resident and their family,’ Irene added.

The workshops are part of a greater project that will see MYVISTA develop a framework that will assist staff to provide even better end-of-life care for residents and families.

“Having the framework in place will enable MYVISTA to build on what we already do to make sure we are providing person centred care and that every resident receives access to a high standardised approach to care. It gives us the opportunity to establish goals and preferences for each person’s care that is respectful of their wishes by communicating with them and their families in an open, timely and respectful manner,” Irene said.

“We want everyone who comes into care at MYVISTA to be able to live well and continue to make individual and family memories in the time that is left and for their families to feel supported along the way.”

The project is expected to conclude with the introduction of the framework in second half of 2024.

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Balcatta and Mirrabooka staff attend the training workshops

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