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Online resource aims to enable care home patients and their families make informed healthcare decisions

A new online resource led by Queen's University Belfast has been developed to help bridge the gaps of information to enable carers and their families to make informed decisions around end of life care
Marie Louise McConville

A NEW online resource led by Queen's University Belfast has been developed to help bridge the gaps of information to enable carers and their families to make informed decisions around end of life care.

Advance care planning (ACP) is a process that supports adults at any age or stage of health in understanding and sharing their personal values and preferences regarding future care and realistic treatment choices.

ACP enable patients and their families to make informed healthcare decisions and also supports the delivery of high quality care.

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, care home residents and their families have been particularly affected.

In the absence of regular visits and communication between families of those in care homes and the staff, it has been challenging to ensure the needs of the residents are met, particularly for residents with limited communication.

The online resource was developed in partnership with researchers from the International Observatory on End of Life Care at Lancaster University, Dementia UK and Marie Curie Hospice in Edinburgh.

Professor Kevin Brazil, lead researcher, said: "Many families of care home residents have felt like they’ve been left in the dark during the pandemic, anxious that the needs of their loved ones weren’t being heard.

"Bringing together experts in ACP, this resource offers information for both families and care home staff to better understand how they can ensure the best standard of ACP is in place, helping to overcome obstacles that Covid-19 has presented."

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