Palliative Care

From Diagnosis to Bereavement: Engaging the Public Across the Continuum

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Excited to present "From Diagnosis to Bereavement: Engaging the Public Across the Continuum" at the 2018 Partners in Care: Central West Palliative Care Network Annual Conference. 

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:
1. Consider systems challenges impacting care of people facing dying and loss;
2. Examine psychosocial implications for individuals, families and healthcare providers facing illness, grief and bereavement; 
3. Explore compassionate community events as essential opportunities to engage the public following a life-limiting diagnosis through to bereavement. 

For more information, or to register, please visit: http://cwpcn.ca/en/annual-conference/

Healthcare Continuing Education: Palliative Care Certificate Program at Mohawk College

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Excited to be teaching my 9th consecutive semester in the Palliative Care Certificate Program for regulated and certified healthcare professionals (RNs, RPNs, OTs, PTs, RTs, SLPs, Social Workers, Dieticians, Physicians, etc.) with Continuing Education @mohawkcollege 

It is so important to demystify the breadth and scope of this approach to care while highlighting the need for early integration of Palliative Care. Every healthcare provider has an active role to play in supporting anyone (individual or family) facing a complex illness, from time of diagnosis, through to bereavement.

For more information about this holistic and collaborative interprofessional certificate program, please visit: https://www.mohawkcollege.ca/ce/programs/health-and-nursing/palliative-care-multidiscipline-017 

Burlington Death Café. In Celebration of World Hospice Palliative Care Day

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In Celebration of World Hospice Palliative Care Day, and in support of the Burlington Compassionate City Charter and the Carpenter Hospice, the Burlington Death Café will be held on October 11th, 2017 from 7-9pm at Emma's Back Porch.

Death Café is an international movement where people, often strangers, gather together to eat, drink and discuss death. The objective is 'to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives’.

At Death Café, you can expect a group directed discussion of death with no agenda, objectives or themes. It is a discussion group, rather than grief support or a counselling session. It is a respectful, public event where people of all communities and belief systems are welcome to have discussions about death.

Interesting conversation is guaranteed!

This is a free public event, but seating is limited. For information, or to register, please visit Eventbrite

For more information about Death Café, please visit http://deathcafe.com/

What can Palliative Care Do?

"When you are facing a serious illness, you need relief from symptoms. You need to better understand your condition and choices for care. You need to improve your ability to tolerate medical treatments. And, you and your family need to be able to carry on with everyday life. This is what palliative care can do." #SeriousIllness #PalliativeCare  

For more information visit Get Palliative Care

LETTING GO: What should medicine do when it can’t save your life?

“People have concerns besides simply prolonging their lives. Surveys of patients with terminal illness find that their top priorities include, in addition to avoiding suffering, being with family, having the touch of others, being mentally aware, and not becoming a burden to others. Our system of technological medical care has utterly failed to meet these needs, and the cost of this failure is measured in far more than dollars. The hard question we face, then, is not how we can afford this system’s expense. It is how we can build a health-care system that will actually help dying patients achieve what’s most important to them at the end of their lives.”

What people talk about before they die

“I visit people who are dying -- in their homes, in hospitals, in nursing homes. And if you were to ask me the same question -- What do people who are sick and dying talk about with the chaplain? -- I, without hesitation or uncertainty, would give you the same answer. Mostly, they talk about their families: about their mothers and fathers, their sons and daughters.

They talk about the love they felt, and the love they gave. Often they talk about love they did not receive, or the love they did not know how to offer, the love they withheld, or maybe never felt for the ones they should have loved unconditionally.”

The End Game: Conversations about Life and Death. A Free Public Event. Oct. 2nd 2016

Please join us as we host this free event. For many people, talking about end-of-life is uncomfortable or even taboo. But sooner or later, we all die. This is an upbeat, interactive session that provides evidence-based tools regarding advance care planning, hospice, palliative and end-of-life care. Let's talk. Do you have an End Game?

For more information or to register, please visit Eventbritehttps://www.eventbrite.ca/e/the-end-game-conversations-about-life-and-death-tickets-27665945588?aff=efbevent

#Palliative Care is not about #dying, but about quality of #living @JMyersPallCare #hpm

There are a multitude of misconceptions surrounding Palliative Care - what it is and what it isn't. Sadly, many are not open to the prospect of Palliative Care because it presented as a departure from "active care" or moreover they believe that Palliative Care is only provided at end of life. It is in fact so much more than that... I truly appreciate this article demystifying the scope and breadth of Palliative Care written by Dr. Jeff Myers, a Palliative Physician, empathic clinician, extraordinary advocate and educator...

"At a time when assisted dying dominates discussion about end-of-life care, I think it’s important to address public fears around palliative care so that people can use the information to improve their quality of life.

Palliative care is not what happens when all treatments have failed. It does not mean “giving up” or “stopping the fight.” If you are fighting cancer or Lou Gehrig’s disease, palliative care means a team of people — such as doctors, nurses, social workers and others — will help make sure you have what you need to continue fighting.

As a palliative care physician, I am deeply committed to improving end-of-life experiences for people and their families. My focus is not on the disease itself but on the impact it can have, like relieving the severity of symptoms with the overall goal of improving quality of life.

It’s my job to know what matters to you and to make sure you’re not spending time and energy on bothersome symptoms that needlessly wear you down. Pain is a good example: terrible pain from cancer can be exhausting, consume a ton of energy and is worse for the body than any medications aiming to manage the pain. There is no need for a person fighting cancer to also try fighting pain.

There is now very clear evidence that people who receive specialized palliative care actually live longer than those who do not. This is why it’s so important to understand that palliative care is not about giving up — far from it. It’s about living the very best you can for as long as you do."

Talking About #Death Won’t Kill You. @Kathykm @TEDTalks #Death #Education #hpm

"An unconventional death educator with an equal parts wry and wise delivery style, Dr. Kathy Kortes-Miller is committed to showing her audience that talking about death and dying won’t kill you. Using stories and research, Kathy extends an invitation to view death as not a taboo subject - but rather a shared life experience. Audience members walk away with shifted perspectives and a deep understanding that talking about death, without knowing or needing all the “answers”, actually brings us closer to our loved ones than we ever imagined possible."

@CanadianHPCAssn #National #Hospice #Palliative Care Week Busting the #Myths #hpm

National Hospice Palliative Care Week will run May 1-7, 2016 under the theme Hospice Palliative Care First and features an FAQ, Mythbusters, and includes information for health care professionals.

"There are many ways to start the conversation about end-of-life care in Canada. Spreading awareness and education is one of the best ways to advocate for change and ensure that every Canadian has access to quality hospice palliative care.

Visit the official Advance Care Planning website at www.advancecareplanning.ca for resources to share and distribute.

Learn about the integrated palliative approach to care developed by the Way Forward project at www.nationalframework.ca

Use the “Power of 10” materials developed by the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association to spread the word about hospice palliative care in your communities. These materials can be found here: www.chpca.net/week

Spread the materials developed for this year’s campaign “Hospice Palliative Care First” found here: www.chpca.net/hpcfirst "

Observing the Wish to #Die at #Home. #hpm

“We often hear from family members that they find great value in our Guide for Family Caregivers, detailed information on how to handle such common end-of-life symptoms as breathing problems, pain, changes in behavior and sleeplessness. The piece details several signs that may signal a loved one is transitioning from life to death, such as no appetite or urine output, and changes in breathing sounds and patterns.

We encourage people to be a calm presence, to hold the loved ones hand, to call in others who wish to be present, as well as call Hospice for support. Hearing is the final sense to go, so we encourage family members to continue speaking to their loved one, reassuring that everything is all right.

‘What we are trying to do is normalize what they are going through,’ says Joel. Death, after all, is not an aberration but a universal end we all one day meet. ‘We want the family members to know what the very end of life looks like and what they can do when the time comes. What can they do? Literally, just hold your loved one’s hand’.”

#Memories of a #Caregiver - Honoring Voices: Walking Alongside The #Caregiver. #hpm

In Part 2 of our "Honored Voices" series, we listen to bereaved caregivers and support professionals and what can be learned from their experience. This video is designed for those who are currently supporting caregivers or those who have experienced the loss of a loved one.

Why we need better #end-of-life #policies in #seniors’ residences. #LTC

“How we die is regularly in the headlines as we await government legislation to be tabled in response to the 2015 Supreme Court of Canada decision legalizing physician-assisted dying. Palliative care gets less attention, but it is what most of us will want at the end of life: drugs to relieve agitation, pain, agonal breathing and other symptoms. Nurses can provide soothing medications, but only after doctors have issued prescriptions, often with increasing dosages. But as the Crosbie family discovered, doctors are few and far between in long-term care facilities, especially on weekends. Their experience is a cautionary tale.”

A #Daughter Pays Homage to Her #Parents With an Intimate Look at #Love and #Loss. @nancyborowick #hpm

"One can only truly understand and appreciate life when faced with one’s own mortality. Nobody wants to talk about death, but it is one of the only things that is certain in life, so an awareness of this finitude allowed my family to take advantage of the time we had left together. “Cancer Family, Ongoing” is the story of family, looking at the experiences of two parents who were in parallel treatment for stage four cancer, side by side. The project looks at love and life in the face of death. It honors my parents’ memory by focusing on their strength and love, both individually and together, and shares the story of their final chapters, which came to a close just 364 days apart from one another."

The Meaning of #Life: #Palliative #Care Makes Every Moment Count. #hpm

"For someone facing a serious, chronic illness, the answers to that question take on a sharp focus. A patient with heart disease might want enough energy to walk around the neighborhood. A cancer survivor may want to feel like herself again after rounds of chemotherapy. Others might have a goal of seeing their children get married—or perhaps to get married themselves.

Helping patients get the most out of life is the aim of palliative care—which could surprise some people who associate the specialty with hospice, or care delivered in the final days and hours. Palliative care services do indeed benefit people nearing the end of their journey, but the field has become much broader over time. Many patients with a life-threatening disease now start receiving palliative care early—sometimes soon after diagnosis..."

On #Widower Watch. #hpm @otherspoon

"Marking family and personal occasions in this way has become increasingly important to all of us; these events intersect long, quiet weeks with laughter and company. And here’s the often unacknowledged benefit to keeping watch on a widower: With my grandparents dead and my friends all around my age, he diversifies my social life as much as I do his. He gives me a perspective on the city we live in that my peers simply don’t have. We spend our time together talking about our dissimilar lives and the things that matter to us, reminiscing about his many rich years, and looking up old poems in the vast library that lines the walls of his house. He is my friend and I miss him when I am away. As it turns out, nonagenarians are good company".

It’s worth it: #Love in the face of #Death. @lexibehrndt

"It’s a painful thing losing someone you love. It wrecks you at your very core. It shatters you, as they take a piece of your heart with them as they go. It is earth-shaking and dream-crushing and horrible in every way imaginable.

And it is worth every single second— every beat of their heart, every whispered prayer, every ounce of love given, every time you held their hand, every tear shed, every smile, every kiss, every lullaby and every single time they looked at you with soulful eyes, and told you in their own way, 'I love you, too.' They are worth it all.

Take it from me.

Choose the harder path. Love until you feel like your heart has given all it has, and then give a little more."

Drawing portraits of #dying people in #hospice taught this artist about #living. #hpm @claudiabicen

"Sitting in the museum’s atrium the day before the show opened, Biçen, 29, said she embarked on the project believing the dying might have lessons to teach her.

'Birth and death – these two moments of life are really sacred, and everything in between is kind of the madness of life,' she said. 'I thought that lying there on your deathbed you’re going to be confronting your life. What did it feel like to be dying? I think most people haven’t had a conversation with someone who is dying. It’s just pushed out of social consciousness and I think that’s problematic'."

Just Days Before Her #Father #Died, She Told Him What He Meant To Her. @NPR @StoryCorps

When he returned from the hospital to find hospice nurses awaiting him at his home, Eva says, he turned to her and said, "I think they think I'm gonna die."

And while he continued to get weaker as he approached the end of his life, Eva says she and her father had not spoken in depth about the prospect of his dying — until the conversation she recorded for StoryCorps.

"Do you think you're dying?" she asked him.

"Everybody dies," he replied.

"Are you afraid?"

"No."

"I wish it wasn't happening right now," she told him. "What are you most proud of, Daddy?"

"My kids."

"Your kids?"

"My family."

She did the interview with her father on a Tuesday afternoon. He died on Thursday night, that same week — on Jan. 29.