Palliative Care Australia (PCA) and the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) will work together to support rural and remote Australians to discuss their end of life care wishes with their healthcare team.
They will use PCA’s Dying to Talk resources in RFDS primary care clinics in Victoria, NSW, Queensland and South Australia to facilitate conversations between RFDS health professionals and their patients. “We know that four out of five Australians think it’s important to discuss their end of life care wishes, but only one in five has had the conversation. “This project will explore how the use of the app affects a person’s willingness to discuss their wishes and then put in place plans for their future care. By using the Dying to Talk Discussion Cards, people will be able to work out what’s most important to them,” Ms Callaghan said. RFDS CEO Martin Laverty says the project will assist both patients, family members and clinicians to plan for the future, especially for people who are over 65 or have chronic illnesses. “In cities the provision of end of life care is well catered for, but it is not so easy in the bush. Problems of distance and access to specialist services are never easy and managing a patient requiring aged or palliative care within rural and remote areas can be difficult. “It all starts with a conversation with loved ones and we are confident that this project with Palliative Care Australia will assist in that regard, better understanding the options for end of life care and thus more comfortable in decisions on behalf of their family member. The project will also assist healthcare workers have conversations with people about their end of life preferences,” Mr Laverty said. The project is supported by a grant from the Dementia and Aged Care Services Fund and will be completed by December 2019.