The new website, The Palliative Hub – Adult, has been launched to provide more information for the public across north and south Ireland and includes information on what palliative care is and how and when patients can access it.
One section of the site describes four stages of the palliative care journey – diagnosis and prognosis, caring and support, final days, and bereavement – with information on each ‘stage’ written by experts, as well as a number of downloadable resources and links to organisations that work in palliative care and that can help with specific conditions.
The site also includes a number of personal stories, written by people who have experience of palliative care, which demonstrate how palliative care can help those who have an incurable condition, as well as their family and friends.
The site has been launched as part of Palliative Care Week (25 to 31 October), which is being coordinated by the AIIHPC.
The key message for Palliative Care Week is that a palliative approach to care can be provided in many different care settings – at home, in a nursing home, in a hospital, or in a hospice – depending on each person’s needs, preferences and decisions.
AIIHPC director Paddie Blaney urged people’s understanding to move away from a perception that palliative care is only about a person’s final weeks and days in a hospital or hospice.
“A palliative care approach cares for all elements of a person with a serious or non-curable illness – emotional, physical and spiritual. Taking this approach early on can mean being able to experience the best possible quality of life for longer.
“It may mean being able to spend most of the time at home and accessing hospice care when symptoms become too difficult to manage, or going in and out of hospital for specialist care when needed, or receiving quality of life care in a nursing home.”
Palliative Care Week is also being supported by Voices4Care, the AIIHPC’s users and carers panel. Spokesperson Anne Molloy highlighted the benefits for families:
“A palliative care approach supports the whole family. This help might take the form of a respite break to enable family members who are carers to rest, or it can mean offering information and support to help manage issues related to the condition or illness.”
The Palliative Hub – Adult is one of four websites developed by AIIHPC to provide information on all aspects of palliative care.
In addition to sites aimed at the public on adult and children’s palliative care, The Professional Palliative Hub will provide online resources for health and social care professionals, researchers, educationalists and volunteers and The Learning Platform offers an online learning environment for both the public and professional.
All four sites can be accessed at www.thepalliativehub.com