MYTH: Hospices are generally just for old people
FACT: Hospice and palliative care is for people of all ages
People don’t like to think that children die, however a big part of palliative care is care for children. People of all ages can develop a life limiting illness and palliative care programs need to be prepared to care for patients of any age. Children often die of complicated illnesses over a longer trajectory, and require special care.
In Canada, there are six residential children’s hospices:
Canuck Place in Vancouver, British Columbia
Darling Home for Kids in Milton, Ontario
Emily’s House in Toronto, Ontario
The Lighthouse Children and Families in Montreal, Quebec
Rogers House in Ottawa, Ontario
Rotary/Flames House in Calgary, Alberta
The Canadian Network of Palliative Care for Children is comprised of a broad group of individuals involved in palliative and end-of-life care of children, including those who may see palliative care in general as being rather peripheral to their primary clinical field, such as pediatric cardiology, nephrology, respirology, neurology, genetics, and specialties related to metabolic diseases.
Their focus is to address issues unique to palliative and end-of-life care for children and to facilitate standards development, advocacy, and education, perhaps raising the profile of pediatric palliative care in Canada.
The Canadian Network of Pediatric hospices represents the aforementioned children’s hospices across Canada and fosters collaboration amongst its members. On October 30, 2013, the group will be hosting the first ever Canadian pediatric symposium. Program information is available here.
The Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association has hosted two online events that deal with caring for children nearing the end of life, they can be accessed here.