Focusing on Palliative Care in Canada

Just months after Bill C-277, the Framework on Palliative Care in Canada Act, came into effect, the country celebrates National Palliative Care Week to continue to conversation.

The Bill, which really is a call for politicians to get serious about a national plan for end of life care, is seen as a step along the road to improving care for Canadians in every province.

Palliative care advocate, Sharon Carstairs, said that only 30-35 per cent of Canadian have access to palliative care. However, she noted that was up from just five per cent when she first started focusing on the issue.

“We have yet to accept that we are living in an aging society and we must ensure things are in place to protect our aging population,” she told SeniorsZen in an interview last year.

Organizer’s of National Palliative Care Week have said they want Canadians to consider community involvement when it comes to end of life care.

A thought that has been solidified in this year’s theme: “Towards a more compassionate Canada, Eh?”

Canadians have been encouraged to get to know others in their community and to consider how they can support those that are struggling because of illness or age.

The Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association has a list of resources on their website that help open the dialogue about the issues around end-of-life-care.

Those interested in joining the conversation can do so on social media using #MyCompassionateCanada hashtag or by tagging CanadianHospicePalliativeCare on Facebook or @CanadianHPCAssn on Twitter.

The 18th annual National Palliative Care Week runs from May 6-12.

Written by Chandra Lye

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