Several authors have suggested that demographic changes will lead to a worldwide increase of the number of older people suffering from dementia, multimorbidity and frailty. This implies a growing demand for care of the older person and end-of-life care training. As most people want to die at home the need for palliative care and end-of-life care at home will rise. To meet this increased need public education in basic palliative care can enable everybody to participate in support for their family members, friends, neighbours or others in need.
Based on the experiences of teaching First Aid to the public the concept of a Last Aid course was first introduced by an emergency medicine consultant Prof. Georg Bollig in Germany. An international working group has established a curriculum for a Last Aid course. Pilot courses have proven the feasibility of the concept in 14 countries including Norway, Denmark, Scotland, Austria, Australia and Germany. More than 25,000 citizens have already participated in Last Aid courses and more than 2,000 trainers have been trained across many European countries.
Family Carers Ireland and the Irish Hospice Foundation recently purchased the licence to deliver the ‘Last Aid’ training course in Ireland and in partnership with Tipperary Education and Training Board (ETB) intend on offering the first Last Aid course in our community. The overall aim of the programme, when offered to community, is of 4 hours duration and will equip participants with the basic knowledge and skills relating to palliative and end of life care and will nurture compassionate communities. The course is ideal for family carers who may be caring for someone with palliative care needs or for any citizen who want to learn more about dying, death and bereavement.
The Last Aid course is facilitated jointly by two facilitators from different professions to mirror the multi-professional cooperation in palliative care. On February 5th health and social care professionals from Family Carers Ireland, Tipperary ETB tutors and The Irish Hospice Foundation attended the 9 hour online Train the Trainer Programme with Prof. Georg Bollig. In addition to the 15 people from Ireland the team we were joined by two nurses from Poland. The training programme was very well received, proved an excellent learning opportunity and all of our Irish participants are excited to roll it out in Ireland.
Tipperary ETB is looking forward to rolling out this opportunity with our partners and will engage in an evaluation process on how it runs in the Irish context. We hope that this project might be something that will become a regular offering as it can be delivered face to face or online. For further information please contact the Community Education Facilitator in Tipperary ETB.
Family Carers Ireland in partnership with The Irish Foundation also hope to offer the programme across Ireland and if there are other ETBs interested in supporting future roll out please contact Dr. Kathy McLoughlin Family Carers Ireland firstname.lastname@example.org 0860333163
This infographic (pre-Covid-19) highlights the ageing populations internationally
Image of participants attending Last Aid Training Feb 5th 2021 – (permission granted)