Donal Crowley (right), from Cork, is pictured with Karen Charnley, Director, All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care, and Lord Mayor Nial Ring, The Lord Mayor of Dublin, at the launch of Palliative Care Week in Dublin.
Research carried out on behalf of the All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care (AIIHPC) has shown that eight in ten people believe that if palliative care could help them they would like a health care professional to discuss it with them.
This week marks Palliative Care Week (9 to 15 September 2018) and the AIIHPC surveyed people across the Republic of Ireland about their understanding of palliative care.*
Karen Charnley, AIIHPC Director, said: “Our survey shows that many people would like to begin a conversation about a topic often considered too difficult and too frightening to discuss, the reality of living with a life-limiting illness. Our theme for Palliative Care Week 2018 is ‘Palliative Care, Because Every Moment Matters’. Whether you are a member of the public or a health and social care professional, we encourage everyone to discuss how palliative care could help.”
The survey also shows that eight in ten people believe palliative care should be considered as early as possible when diagnosed with a life-limiting illness.
Palliative care focuses on helping a person, of any age, with any life-limiting illness, to achieve the best quality of life. It involves the management of pain and other symptoms and provides support for social, emotional and spiritual needs.
Dublin Lord Mayor Nial Ring hosted the launch of Palliative Care Week in the Mansion House in Dublin on Monday.
He said:“Palliative Care Week, being launched here in the Mansion House, is an important opportunity to raise awareness of this wonderful service which involves caring for the physical, emotional and spiritual needs in the best way possible for those with life-limiting illnesses. Palliative care teams offer immense emotional support and advice during this difficult time and do all they can to improve a patient’s quality of life and help them and their family to cope, while ensuring that no one loses their privacy and dignity. ‘Palliative Care, Because Every Moment Matters’ is such an appropriate, positive and affirmative theme for the week, being launched here.”
To coincide with the Dublin event, a simultaneous launch was also held in Belfast.
The Palliative Care Week campaign coincides with the launch of personal video stories of people who have benefitted from palliative care. Donal Crowley from Cork, who is living with Stage 4 neuroendocrine cancer, is among those who have spoken about the benefits of palliative care.
Mr Crowley said: “My prognosis at the beginning was very good but that changed pretty quickly to a negative situation, and that’s where the palliative care people were involved. I have had nothing but good experiences since being involved with palliative care. It will give you a better quality of life, but I think it will also extend your life in a better way.”
Sheilagh Reaper Reynolds, HSE National Lead for Palliative Care, expressed her sincere thanks to each individual who shared their personal story in the videos associated with Palliative Care Week.
Ms Reaper-Reynolds said: “People who are being supported by palliative care will often say that it has helped not just in easing the burden of their illness but also in easing their fears and anxieties. Families say that they no longer feel alone but instead feel genuinely supported. The HSE is pleased to be associated with Palliative Care Week because it encourages health care professionals, patients and families to begin a conversation about the lasting positive impact palliative care can have.”
*A survey of 1000 people across the Republic of Ireland was carried out in June 2018
AIIHPC is a collaborative of hospices, health and social care organisations and universities on the island of Ireland. AIIHPC advances education, research and practice to improve the palliative care experience of people with life limiting conditions and their families. For more info, click here