Health professionals recently joined the launch of Brisbane South PHN’s ‘Older Adults’ Community of Practice (CoP).

Thirty-four practitioners from general practice, allied health and pharmacy attended the first CoP meeting held on 30 August 2017 at Alexandra Hills Hotel, learning about and sharing information to assist older adults to live healthy and active lives in the local community.

Megan Geddes, an Occupational Therapist from Blue Care presented on a multidisciplinary approach to falls prevention, demonstrated a case study with successful patient outcomes, and facilitated small group discussions about the different roles of health professionals and barriers for patients.

Julie Sutherland, Clinical Nurse Consultant/Counsellor from the Office of Advance Care Planning (Metro South Health) presented on how health professionals can bring this topic up in conversations with patients, identify their wishes, and encourage them to make a written plan. Sutherland also explained how advance care planning requires a team effort and should involve doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and, most importantly, the patient, their substitute decision-maker(s) and/or family members. One attendee described Sutherland’s talk as “very thought provoking and an area that they needed to learn about”.

Other feedback from attendees was extremely positive, with practitioners valuing the education, the case study reflecting on a multidisciplinary approach to falls prevention in primary care, access to new resources, and the opportunity to network and learn from a diverse range of health professionals.

Practitioners were provided with the opportunity to share information about their services and guide the direction of this new Community of Practice, with attendees opting for quarterly face-to-face meetings going forward.

These topics are becoming increasingly relevant as the nation’s ageing population continues to grow. About one in three Australians aged over 65 years old fall each year and around 10 per cent of these falls result in serious injury, according to the Public Health Association of Australia. Falls are also the leading cause of injury-related hospitalisation in people aged over 65.

For more information about the different CoPs being established please visit our CoP web page.

Resources

Falls prevention

Advance care planning

Ain’t the Way to Die | Eminem/Rihanna Remixed | ZDoggMD.com (Youtube video)

In Queensland, the components of an Advance Care Plan include:

  • an Enduring Power of Attorney to appoint a substitute decision maker
  • an Advance Health Directive, which is a legal document where a person’s wishes on future medical treatments is recorded in an approved form
  • a Statement of Choices, which is a document that outlines a person’s wishes regarding future medical treatments and informs their substitute decision maker and doctor in making decisions on a person’s behalf.

More information can be found here:

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