HPCO Advocates for Improved Hospice Palliative Care
30 October 2012
They called it “The Elephant in the Room.” Teams representing Hospice Palliative Care Ontario descended on Queen’s Park this week to talk to MPPs about dying and death. Something that most people, even in the health care field, have trouble talking about. But the fact is, we are all going to die, leaving only the where, when and how uncertain.
A small number of us – 2.9 per cent – will die a sudden death. The rest of us will meet our end through illness, advanced age, or a combination. The older we get, the more likely we are to get a life limiting illness. And with the age of our population, there will be a whole lot of us heading to the exit, at about the same time.
“We need to be ready to provide the kind of care we all will want. More than ever there is a need for coordinated, quality, hospice palliative care to be available throughout the province, and in all care settings: the home, long term care, the hospital, and of course through residential hospices.” says Rick Firth, Executive Director of Hospice Palliative Care Ontario.
“It really is about the right care, at the right time, in the right place. Too often people who are dying and the family members trying to care for them, run into problems with pain and symptom management, which leads them to the emergency department. There are models in Ontario that show that a coordinated support system can help people stay home longer, in comfort, prepared, with less burden on the families and the health care system. It’s an effective and desirable way to help people live well, right to the very end-of-life.”
Firth says the sector has matured in recent years with the support of the provincial government. There has been unprecedented funding, and more recently the government is working with a broad based health care coalition to provide direction on how to ensure hospice palliative care is delivered appropriately throughout the province. To learn more about these efforts, please visit www.hpco.ca.