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The evolution of palliative care and the relevance to residential aged care : understanding the past to inform the future
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by S Allen, Ysanne ChapmanYsanne Chapman, M O'Connor, K Francis
Summary: Improving the experience of dying in residential aged care units became a significant project of the Australian Government’s National Palliative Care Program in 2004. This initiative resulted in an expectation that residential aged care facilities would adopt the recommended palliative approach to underpin service delivery. Recognising palliative care as a specialist area of health care practice is a recent development which has influenced the expectations of community and government. This paper traces the global history of palliative care and how historical factors influenced its development in Australia. This discussion presents an overview of the positioning of dying and death within society, explaining how with the shifting emphasis on care of the dying accordingly has been the focus on palliative care specialists. Care of the dying in residential aged care units has largely been overlooked in the context of specialist involvement. This paper acknowledges dying and death as occurring in residential aged care facilities, illuminating the advantages of adopting a palliative approach and offers recommendations.