The principles underlining this year’s campaign are simple – everyone is part of a sphere of influence that includes family, friends and acquaintances. Similarly, all individuals within your sphere of influence are connected to their own social circles.
Through these spheres of influence you have the potential to reach a vast network of individuals.
“This year, we are urging people to spread the message by sharing our National Hospice Palliative Care Week resources and speaking to ten people – friends, family, acquaintances – about the importance of quality hospice palliative care in Canada,” said Sharon Baxter, Executive Director of the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association. “We are then asking you to ask those ten people to speak to ten people and so forth.”
The hope is that this critical message will be spread exponentially, like ripples in a pond, by each of your contacts – whether face-to-face, e-mail or social media using the National Hospice Palliative Care Week resources as conversation starters.
For this year’s campaign, the CHPCA has released a bilingual poster featuring answers to the most common questions surrounding hospice palliative care including “what does receiving it mean,” “how it applies to families,” and “what is the difference hospice palliative care can make.” The campaign also includes smaller bilingual postcards that can be easily handed out.
“We are hoping for an increase in general knowledge and awareness concerning hospice palliative care by having these resources spread throughout communities across Canada.”
The resources can be utilized by both professionals working in the healthcare field as well as patients, and caregivers to advocate for systemic change.
According to the National Fact Sheet by the CHPCA, hospice palliative care programs allow patients to gain more control over their lives, manage pain and symptoms more effectively, and they provide support to family caregivers.[a]
It also states that there growing evidence that access to hospice palliative care combined with treatment, leads to an improvement in symptoms, better quality of life, higher patient satisfaction and overall better outcomes for individuals and their family caregivers.[b]
National Hospice Palliative Care Week is coordinated by the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association. Funding for National Hospice Palliative Care Week is provided by Purdue and GlaxoSmithKline. For more information, and promotional materials for National Hospice Palliative Care Week, please go to www.chpca-acsp.org/week.
a] Informal Caregivers are family members, loved ones, or friends and neighbours who provide support or care for the dying family member, loved one, or friend. A Model to Guide Hospice Palliative Care: Based on National Principles and Norms of Practice (CHPCA, 2002) defines Informal Caregivers as, “not members of an organization. They have no formal training, and are not accountable to standards of conduct or practice. They may be family members or friends.”
[b] Smith TJ, Temin S, Erin R, et al. American Society of Clinical Oncology Provisional Clinical Opinion: The Integration of Palliative Care into Standard Oncology Care. Feb 26, 2012. Accessed from www.asco.org. March 2012.