A story from our Chair

One day, during my time as a Senator, when I couldn’t get my fellow ministers to focus on the issue of palliative care I said: “You’re ALL going to die!” That got their attention! They quickly realized that palliative care deserved their attention. It deserves attention from all of us.

 

You can give palliative care the attention it deserves by supporting the OutCare Foundation. By donating to OutCare you will invest in equipment, such as comfort mattresses and ceiling lifts. You will bring a smile to the face of a volunteer by funding bursaries. You will give palliative care the attention it deserves.

 

Everyone has their own reasons for contributing. Maybe it’s because 70% of Canadians still can’t access this care when they need it. Or, it might be because of a personal story. I have a story. It’s about why palliative care is my number one priority.

 

Before I share my story, I would like to invite you to make your gift today. Your donation will help to provide comfort and support. Your contribution will provide something we all deserve: improved quality of life.

 

I have given 17 years of my working life and over five years of my retirement to this cause. I am inspired to do this work because of the remarkable value of palliative care, not only for the individual, but also for their family. I am motivated to help because too often many do not have access to the right care and support, which has devastating consequences. I first saw this in the case of my mother. It’s because of this experience that I have devoted myself to this cause.

 

My mom spent 10 years of her life caring for my father who suffered a debilitating stroke. Thanks to her devoted care and training as a nurse, he had a good death. Sadly, this took a toll on my mother. At the time we didn’t realize the effect this was having on her health. However, shortly after my father died, it quickly became obvious that she too, at only 73, was approaching the end. She did not have nearly as much time as she had hoped to enjoy her children and grandchildren.

 

Unlike my father’s, my mother’s life did not end well. In her final days, she asked to go to the hospital where she immediately signed a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Order. She asked me to make sure her wishes were respected. Two nights later she went into cardiac arrest. To my horror, her DNR Order was not respected and her wishes were not met. Our family was devastated. She died a few hours later.

 

My mother’s experience, as an exhausted caregiver and then as a patient, showed me how important good care and support is at this difficult time. I have always felt that I let her down. This is why I have thrown my political and personal energy into this cause.

 

Over the years, I have seen tremendous progress and improvements in palliative care. When I look at the wonderful care provided in hospices and homes in our region, I am grateful. Families in our community are extremely grateful. But there is still so much that needs to be done. Far too many do not have access to the care and support they need.

 

I hope you will make your donation today. Please join me in giving palliative care the attention it deserves.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

The Honourable Sharon Carstairs, P.C., C.M.

Chair

 

P.S. Please donate today. Palliative care deserves it.

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