Palliative Care Guidelines for the Aged Care Sector

Page last updated: 02 July 2015

Guidelines for a Palliative Approach in Residential Aged Care (APRAC Guidelines)

The APRAC Guidelines aim to provide support and guidance for health professionals providing palliative care in residential aged care facilities, including residential aged care nurses and care workers as well as general practitioners. Effective palliative care practices in aged care facilities provide residents with the option to die in the familiar and comfortable surroundings of their residential environment among people who are, and who have been, part of their normal daily life.

The APRAC Guidelines were developed by Edith Cowan University. They were first published in 2005 and updated in 2006.

Guidelines for a Palliative Approach for Aged Care in the Community Setting (COMPAC Guidelines)

The COMPAC Guidelines were developed as a companion document to the APRAC Guidelines. They aim to provide support and guidance for health professionals providing palliative care for older people in the community setting, including general practitioners, community nurses, care workers and organisations providing support for people being cared for in the home.

Community care is a diverse and growing area of palliative care. Effective palliative care in the community setting provides people with the option to die at home, in familiar and comfortable surroundings with their families and friends close by.

The COMPAC Guidelines were developed by Edith Cowan University and were published in 2011.

Palliative Care in Aged Care Evidence (PCACE) Project

In 2015, the Department undertook a feasibility study to inform a proposed review of the APRAC and COMPAC Guidelines. This study found that there is a need for an enhanced knowledge base for palliative care in aged care generally, to improve palliative care practice in this setting.

As part of the CareSearch Project, Flinders University will undertake the Palliative Care in Aged Care Evidence (PCACE) Project, which will develop and host an enhanced online evidence base for palliative care in aged care.

The evidence base will consolidate, update, and revise the current content of the APRAC and COMPAC Guidelines, and will consist of both ‘Evidence’ and ‘Practice Support’ components. This new online platform will be released by 30 June 2017 and will be overseen by a National Advisory Group and an Evidence Advisory Group.