A new resource has been launched to guide health professionals and policy makers involved in providing end of life care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The Palliative Care and End-of-Life Care portal acknowledges that indigenous people often have unique customary practices surrounding end of life, death and bereavement which may be sacred and not widely discussed in the community.

For example, directly referring to “death” and “dying” may make people uncomfortable and it may be preferable to use terms like “finished up” or “passed on”.

The portal includes sections on culturally appropriate care, grief and bereavement and planning ahead with links to relevant publications, resources, organisations, policies and programs.  It also includes workforce information including training, events and jobs.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet, which launched the resource portal in collaboration with Palliative Care Australia, says it will put clinicians and policy makers in touch with research and projects relating to end of life care for indigenous Australians.

Liz Callaghan

“This will make the relevant information available to the workforce …  to support decision-making and best-practice care,” director Neil Drew said.

A “yarning place” would be established in early 2019 to facilitate information sharing and support among clinicians, he added.

PCA CEO Liz Callaghan said Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people had specific end of life care needs that were highlighted at an Indigenous Roundtable PCA hosted in February.

The portal would ensure these would be recognised and respected, she said.

“This resource portal responds to the need for a central place to access culturally appropriate and largely community developed resources regarding palliative care, including grief and bereavement,” Ms Callaghan said.

The portal can be accessed here

The website may contain images, voices and names of people who have passed away.

Do have a resource you’d like to share with our readers? Email us at editorial@australianageingagenda.com.au 

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