BACKGROUNDER: Hospice Palliative Care Week 2018

Categories: In The Media.

May 6 – 12, 2018 marks the eighteenth annual Hospice Palliative Care Week. This year, the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (CHPCA) and all local HPC programs and services encourage Canadians to reflect on what makes a compassionate community. Using this model, how can we provide better end of life care for all Canadians?

Our communities form a huge part of our lived experiences and are a key component of living well. This extends to palliative and end of life care – when we are faced with a critical illness or must make decisions surrounding our wishes for the end of life, our communities are the ones who step in to support us and ensure that our wishes are honoured. The better connected we are, the more effective these communities can be.

Given the universality of death, dying, loss and bereavement, palliative care has increasingly been seen around the world as a public health issue; compassionate communities are a logical extension of this perspective. Looking at how compassionate communities function, consider what lessons the healthcare system can learn about delivering care that responds to the needs of the whole individual.


Towards a more compassionate Canada, Eh!

  • Death, dying, loss and bereavement are universal. Thus, receiving good palliative care is truly a public health issue.
  • Leadership in the health-care sector needs to facilitate responses for and by the community.
  • The Compassionate Cities theory of practice (as outlined by Pallium Canada) provides us with a guide that ensures that palliative care is everyone’s business.


During Hospice Palliative Care Week we seek to encourage and engage in a public discussion about how to foster compassionate communities as an essential piece of how hospice palliative care is delivered in Canada. Through the promotion of resources and tools, online engagement, and in-person interactions the CHPCA will help Canadians start conversations to answer the question, what are compassionate communities and how can they be nurtured to develop capacity to care for our citizens at the end of life?

What can you do?

  1. Share your stories on social media! How do you participate in your compassionate community? Tag CHPCA on Facebook (CanadianHospicePalliativeCare ) and Twitter (@CanadianHPCAssn) and Instagram (CdnHPCAssn) and tell us your stories! Don’t forget to use the hashtag #MyCompassionateCanada.
  2. Submit articles online to ehospice
  3. Get to know your community! Who are the people in your neighbourhood? What roles do they serve? How can you support them and how can they support you? What would you do if one of your neighbours were having a tough time due to age or illness?
  4. Volunteer with a community organization such as a walking or gardening group, your local hospice or long-term care facility, schools, community centers and other groups that provide essential services in your neighbourhood.
  5. Download our resources! Visit to download printable posters and other materials for HPC Week 2018.

Online Resources:

The Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association — the national voice for hospice palliative care in Canada – is dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in care for persons approaching death so that the burdens of suffering, loneliness and grief are lessened. The CHPCA operates in close partnership with other national organizations and continues to work to ensure that all Canadians, regardless of where they may live, have equal access to quality hospice palliative care services for themselves and their families.