Ontario Government Recognizes the Vital Role of Family Caregivers at End-of-Life Care

Categories: Care.

An integrated palliative approach to care can only be successful by recognizing those who will provide the greatest portion of an individual’s care—carers or family caregivers. According to a report produced by the Canadian Home Care Association for The Way Forward: An Integrated Palliative Approach to Care, caregivers of individuals with life-limiting illnesses providing care in the home identified two essential needs:

  • Knowledge about the details, extent and prognosis of their loved one’s illness, including tools in preparing and planning for the future.
  • Services and supports available to both the caregiver and their loved one.

“Caring for a loved one at end-of-life, although a rewarding experience, often comes with many challenges – emotionally, mentally, physically and economically”, stated Anthony Milonas, COO CBI Health Group and Signatory Partner of Carers Canada. “Advance care planning is an excellent way to begin conversations that can alleviate many of these stressors.”  

The active involvement of caregivers is essential to home care as their ability to support a dying loved one is often the difference between an individual dying at home or in hospital. “Caregivers have shared the need for skilled and knowledgeable care providers, in addition to flexible care options in the community that include home care and hospices”, stated Nadine Henningsen, President of Carers Canada and Executive Director of the Canadian Home Care Association. “It is encouraging to see the Ontario government’s support for both hospice facilities and provincial standards.” 

Ontario’s commitment to developing a comprehensive strategy on palliative and end-of-life care is an excellent first step in achieving an integrated approach to palliative care. Carers Canada will continue to work with stakeholders to enhance the quality of life for carers and recognize their needs in both policies and practices.

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