Background During the COVID-19 pandemic Ayrshire Hospice piloted a training course for personal carers in North Ayrshire focusing on palliative and end-of-life care. The course was delivered online, comprising four 90 minutes sessions. One of the sessions focused specifically on the practical aspects of carrying out personal care towards the end of a person’s life, and featured a demonstration by two of the hospice’s senior care assistants using a training mannequin.
Aims The pilot aimed to increase knowledge and understanding of the principles of palliative and end-of-life care for personal carers. The aim of this particular session was to share, peer to peer, the specialist knowledge and skills required in caring for someone towards the end of their life.
Methods During this particular session, two experienced senior care assistants gave a practical demonstration of how they would provide personal care for someone nearing the end of their life, using a mannequin. They shared the practical skills they employ, emphasising the importance of care being carried out gently and slowly, and discussed how they used this as an opportunity to simultaneously assess the person’s condition; looking for any signs of distress, pain, issues regarding skin integrity and oral health.
Outcomes Sharing best practice through example peer to peer was well received. Ultimately this will benefit the people being cared for, whilst also building the skills and confidence of all involved. Links were formed, with the hospice now viewed as an invaluable resource. The online nature of the training proved successful, in terms of ease of access for participants, and the flexibility to include demonstrations from hospice team members. Sessions evaluated positively. Further training has since been progressed in North Ayrshire, with the hope that it will be adopted across Ayrshire over the next 18 months.
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