National Hospice Palliative Care Week

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National Hospice Palliative Care Week will run from May 4th to 10th, 2014 under the theme, "Busting the Myths about Hospice Palliative Care" 

MYTH: Receiving hospice palliative care means you’ll die soon.
FACT: Hospice palliative care is not just for the final days or months of life. It’s holistic approach that includes pain and symptom management, caregiver support, spiritual care, bereavement and much more.

Some supporting statistics:

  • Over three in ten Canadians (32%) personally suffer from a chronic illness while four in ten (39%) have a sufferer in their immediate family. When taken together, six in ten Canadians (57%) either personally suffer from a chronic illness or have a sufferer in their immediate family.[i]
  • Chronic diseases account for 70% of all deaths.[ii]

MYTH: Hospice palliative care is just for seniors.
FACT: Hospice palliative care is provided to people of all ages - from infancy to adulthood. As a matter of fact, Canada has six hospices dedicated to pediatric palliative care. Adults in their prime also die, and we need to ensure that them and their families are properly supported and prepared for the end-of-life, no matter their age.

Some supporting statistics:

  • Pediatric palliative care programs in Canada care for a diverse population of patients with a wide range of age and disease conditions. Only a small percentage of children who die, however, receive services from these dedicated programs.[iii]

MYTH: I can only get palliative care in a hospital.
FACT: Palliative care services are offered in many places, including hospitals, long term care facilities, and hospices and in your own home.

Some supporting statistics:

  • When asked, most people have indicated that they would prefer to die at home in the presence of loved ones [iv], yet almost 70% of Canadian deaths occur in a hospital.[v]
  • Ontario found that between 20 and 50% of people on waiting lists for residential long-term care could age safely and cost-effectively at home if some basic services were accessible. And hospice palliative care services and treatment can lead to better outcomes, such as improvement of symptoms and reduced caregiver burden, while reducing costs.[vi]

Digital Resources (Click each bookmark for a printable version):

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Click here to download the 2014 National Hospice Palliative Care Week poster.

Click here to download the 2014 National Hospice Palliative Care Week PowerPoint.

National Hospice Palliative Care Week is brought to you in partnership with:

We Care

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[i] A quantitative online research survey of 2,976 Canadian adults. Completed using Harris/Decima’s proprietary online panel so is precluded from reporting a margin of error. Data were collected between July 5 and August 7 2013. Survey data were weighted using 2011 Census to reflect general population (gender, age and region). P.8

[ii] Rachlis, Michael.  Presentation to the Local Health Integration Networks (LHIN) Education Session, Toronto, Ontario, April 6, 2006

[iii] http://sashabella.com/pdfs/PediatricPatientsReceivingPalliativeCareInCanada-MulticenterReview.pdf

[iv] Canadian Institute for Health Information. (2007). Health Care Use at the End of Life in Western Canada. Ottawa: CIHI. p. 22.

[v] Statistics Canada. Table 102-0509 - Deaths in hospital and elsewhere, Canada, provinces and territories, annual, CANSIM (database).
http://cansim2.statcan.gc.ca/cgi-win/cnsmcgi.pgm (accessed: March  18, 2010)

[vi] Jean Bacon (2012). The Palliative Approach: Improving Care for Canadians with Life-limiting Illnesses. Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association. P. 10.