What is Palliative Care?
Many people equate palliative care with the care given only in the last few days or weeks of a person’s life.
This is only one piece of the puzzle. While palliative care can make a big difference in the last few weeks of life, it can and should be introduced much earlier.
Palliative care is focused on improving quality of life, not on curing the illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering.
Palliative care is about doing what is most important to the individual and their family.
Palliative care assists with the physical, emotional and spiritual needs that surround the end of a life.
Palliative care helps people achieve the best possible quality of life right up until the end of life.
It can also begin from the moment of diagnosis, not just in the last few weeks of life. Offering palliative care earlier, most often greatly improves the end-of-life experience for the individual and their family.
While palliative care can be delivered in a hospital or hospice, it can also be provided at home. It involves pain and symptom management, grief counselling and learning how to take care of your loved one.
How does this relate to the OutCare Foundation? The OutCare Foundation is focused on supporting palliative care. Find out where the OutCare Foundation fits into palliative care and how funding priorities are set.
"Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual." - World Health Oranization
Why does it matter?
You matter to the last moment of your life, and we will do all we can, not only to help you die peacefully, but also to live until you die.”
Dame Cicely Saunders, founder of the modern hospice
Palliative care is focused on the individual and her/his loved ones, supporting them through life’s final journey.
The aim is to:
- Improve quality of life
- Provide relief from pain
- Assist with the social, emotional and spiritual needs of each person and family
- Provide comfort and solace
Palliative care does not focus on curing the illness, but looks at each individual’s needs to support them.
- A Caregiver's Guide, a handbook about end-of-life care, was published by The Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem and the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association.
- AgingCare.com - This US site provides resources as well as the ability to connect with other caregivers online.
- Canadian Virtual Hospice – This site contains a wealth of information, discussions and opportunities to ask questions about palliative and end-of-life care.
- Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association has some excellent resources available including a section with caregiver resources as well as information on advanced care planning.
- TheFamilyCaregiver.com is an online resource for caregivers.
- A Caregiver’s Guide, A handbook about end-of-life care, is available free of charge from local hospices. Copies may be purchased from the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association.
- Speak up! Start the conversation about end of life care is a great resource to help you plan for your end of life care.
- Ottawa Community Support Coalition (OCSC) and Support for Caregivers also provide links to caregiver support organizations in our community.
Where to Find Help
The Hospice Association of Ontario has a search tool on their website to help you find organizations in your community. The Champlain Hospice Palliative Care Program coordinates the delivery of palliative care in the Champlain region.
Support for patients who wish to remain in their homes
- Beth Donovan Hospice
- Carefor Cornwall Hospice
- Centre de Services de Guigues
- Dundas County Hospice
- Hospice Care Ottawa (La Maison de l'Est, May Court Hospice, Ruddy-Shenkman Hospice)
- Hub Hospice Palliative Care
- Madawaska Valley Hospice Palliative Care
- Carefor Cornwall Hospice
- Diane Morrison Hospice (Ottawa's homeless)
- Hospice Care Ottawa (Central West Hospice, May Court Hospice, Ruddy-Shenkman Hospice)
- Hospice Renfrew
- Madawaska Valley Hospice (Barry's Bay)
- Roger Neilson House (for children)
Acute and other care services
- Bruyère Continuing Care Palliative Care Program
- Hawkesbury & District General Palliative Care Unit
- Marianhill - Palliative Care
- Montfort Hospital Palliative Care Consult Service
- Queensway-Carleton Hospital Palliative Care Consult Service
- Roger Neilson House
- The Ottawa Hospital Palliative Care Team (Civic Campus & General Campus)
Would you like to learn more?
Please contact us today!