Individuals working in hospice palliative care have been developing strategies and programs for the past 40 years often with little or no support from the very agencies and health care leaders who should be helping with planning and implementation.
If experts are needed to develop a strategy that will work, they need look no further than the professionals and volunteers working within hospice palliative care and families who know what it’s like not to have the right care.
Baby boomers are going to have to add their voice too as they are the ones who will be impacted the most over the next 30 years. Nanaimo is lucky. We have the palliative care unit at NRGH where doctors, nurses and hospice volunteers work together to provide care and a Home and Community Care palliative coordinator for people at home. And Hospice, well recognized province-wide for our pro-active approach and innovative programs that support individuals of all ages facing death, dying, care giving and grief. But even so, there are huge gaps in care.
In 2013 the Vancouver Island Federation of Hospices developed a resource at www.advancecareplanning.com to inform individuals and families about the need for developing a personal plan of care. This site provides a wealth of information on this subject.
There is still a pervasive fear surrounding dying in our society, and yet early planning and referral to palliative and hospice programs can ensure a well-supported journey that addresses the unique needs of patients and families. People need more information on how to access good care.