Supporting Care and Compassion at End of Life in Nursing Homes
A continuous learning programme

Caru is a new learning programme for nursing homes. The initiative has been developed by the Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) in partnership with All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care (AIIHPC) and the HSE.  For the Caru website, please follow this link.

This five-year programme is offered free of charge to every Nursing Home in Ireland, numbering approximately 580.  Its aim is to improve the delivery to residents of compassionate and person-centred palliative, end-of-life, and bereavement care. This will be achieved through a multi-strand, integrated programme which will enable all nursing homes to engage at a level appropriate to them.

Caru will support nursing homes to embed a continuous quality improvement approach while also supporting the infrastructure through which the clinical aspects of Specialist Palliative Care (SPC) are currently delivered.  The programme will also facilitate the sharing of SPC knowledge and expertise to the sector from community and SPC supports and through knowledge networks.  Nonetheless, the delivery of clinical care will remain the responsibility of SPC and community providers.

All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care is a co-partner with the Irish Hospice Foundation for delivery of Caru.  Within the broader programme, our components include:

  • delivery of an annual series of six Caru webinars
  • the establishment of a Caru Project ECHO Nursing Home Knowledge Network in each of the nine HSE CHO areas
  • the development and maintenance of the Caru Learning Hub, an online learning management system to support the programme on the Palliative Hub – Learning Platform

Caru AIIHPC Webinars
As a Caru partner, AIIHPC will facilitate 6 webinars annually, on a wide range of topics which reflect the complexity of both palliative care and the care of older people. These will include areas such as clinical knowledge, symptom recognition, patient management and awareness of current best practices.

Caru AIIHPC Project ECHO Nursing Home Knowledge Networks
The establishment of a new Project ECHO Nursing Home Knowledge Network in each Community Healthcare Organisation Area is a key component of Caru. The aim of these networks is to develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence of nursing home staff in caring for residents with life-limiting conditions. Participation is free and open to all nursing homes, and it provides a valuable opportunity to network and share practice with a wide range of your peers.

For further information on the Caru Programme, Caru Webinars or Caru AIIHPC Project Echo Nursing Home Knowledge Networks please contact:

Miriam Ahern, Programme Manager for Nursing Home Education  & Project ECHO    e:     t: 087 096 4468