Ireland’s first-ever Palliative Care Week beings on Monday

Categories: Community Engagement.

The all-island campaign ‘Making the most of life‘ will run from Monday 6 October to Saturday 11 October 2014 and has been coordinated by the All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care (AIIHPC).

The campaign aims to change the common public perception that palliative care is about pain relief for older people during the final days of life, and promote an understanding that a palliative care approach, as part of a medical care plan, helps to achieve the best possible quality of life for a person with an incurable condition.

As part of the week, a number of information events will take place across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, along with newspaper, radio and online adverts.

The Minister for Primary and Social Care in the Republic of Ireland, Kathleen Lynch, and the Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety in Northern Ireland, Edwin Poots, have both warmly welcomed the first-ever all-island Palliative Care Week.

Kathleen Lynch said: “I am confident that this initiative will help to bring a greater public understanding of how a palliative care approach is beneficial for patients, carers and their families.”

AIIHPC Director Paddie Blaney added: “A palliative care approach is beneficial for anyone with a non-curable illness, regardless of age or condition and also supports their family, friends and carers both during an illness and afterwards. For the very best outcomes palliative care starts as early as possible and is suitable for a number of years, not just the weeks and days at the end of life.”

The campaign coincides with the annual Hospice Care Week (now in it’s fourth year) which is a UK-wide initiative, coordinated by Hospice UK and supported by over 100 hospice care providers, which aims to raise the profile of hospice care across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The theme of this year’s Hospice Care Week is ‘Hospice care, everywhere!’ – the idea behind the theme is to highlight how hospice care can help change lives in different settings.

Also taking place next week, on 11 October, is World Hospice and Palliative Care Day, a unified day of action to celebrate and support hospice and palliative care around the world. Anybody can get involved in World Hospice and Palliative Care Day and raise awareness and funds for their local hospice and palliative care service. To find out how to get involved, and register your event on the online listing, visit the World Hospice and Palliative Care Day website.