May 3, 2021- COLLINGWOOD, ONTARIO – This week is National Hospice Palliative Care Week 2021! With a little help from the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association, which advocates for all Canadians having access to quality hospice palliative care, we have taken a look at 10 commonly held beliefs about hospice palliative care, and completely quashed them. To help with the myth-busting, we have invited Hospice Georgian Triangle’s intrepid leader Trish Rawn for her perspective.
1. “Hospice care is only for seniors.“
Adults aged 45 to 74 are more likely than younger or older adults to receive palliative care. “If you need care, regardless of your age, we will be there,” says Rawn.
2. “Hospice palliative care is just for people with cancer.”
Hospice palliative care was originally developed for patients suffering from cancer. Today, hospice palliative care is for all people diagnosed with a chronic life-limiting illness.
3. “My physician hasn’t mentioned it, so I must not need it.”
Patients can initiate their own conversations with hospice palliative care professionals. “It is entirely up to you,” says Rawn. “If you want or would benefit from support, contact us. Your physician is an important member of your hospice team and will support your decision.”
4. “Pain is part of dying.”
Pain is not always part of dying. If pain is experienced near the end of life, there are many ways it can be managed.
5. “It is wrong for me to talk about dying with my loved ones. It will only cause them distress.”
Society norms are changing. In a hospice palliative care setting, you may talk about death and dying. “There may be tears, but that’s okay,” says Rawn. “You can support each other, and we can help get those difficult conversations started.”
6. Hospice palliative care is only pain control.
Hospice palliative care includes psychological, social, emotional, spiritual, practical and caregiver support. And pain control.
7. “Hospice is a location, not a resource.“
Hospice palliative care is MORE than a building. It is compassionate care that is provided in many different settings, including a patient’s home. Hospice Georgian Triangle now has two locations. There is Campbell House with its 10 fully furnished family suites. And now 186 Hurontario Street in Collingwood which houses our Community Support Programs. During the pandemic programs are offered virtually and counselling is available by telephone. “But it is important to remember hospice palliative care is more than a building. It is a free service that is provided in many different settings, including a patient’s home,” says Rawn.
8. “Receiving hospice palliative care means you will die soon.”
Hospice palliative care is about quality of life in the time remaining. It means focusing holistically on physical, psychological, social, and spiritual care to improve quality of life for weeks, months or years. “It means you can take advantage of our expertise in looking after your body, mind and spirit as you face life-limiting illness,” says Rawn.
9. “I am not ready for hospice palliative care.”
Nine of 10 people with critical life-limiting illness would benefit from hospice palliative care. Rawn makes an important point. “Early palliative care has been proven to improve quality of life but also people who receive early palliative care tend to live longer.”
10. “Talking about hospice palliative care robs people of hope.“
Hospice palliative care ensures the best quality of life for those diagnosed with a life-limiting illness. Hope becomes less about a cure and more about living life. “It allows opportunities to have important conversations with loved ones, complete unfinished business, say goodbye,” says Rawn.
For more information on hospice palliative care available in Clearview Township, Wasaga Beach, Collingwood and Town of the Blue Mountains, go to https://hospicegeorgiantriangle.com/what-is-hospice-care/.
Additional resource from CHPCA, Fact Sheet on Hospice Palliative Care in Canada.
Hospice Georgian Triangle provides compassionate care in the home and at Campbell House for individuals and families dealing with life-limiting illness, living in the communities of The Town of Blue Mountains, Collingwood, Wasaga Beach and Clearview Township. Care programs come at no cost and focus on the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of both the patient and family, enhancing quality of life.
The Hospice Georgian Triangle Foundation was established in 2012 as a registered charitable foundation (registration number 831085089RR0001) dedicated solely to raising funds for Hospice Georgian Triangle.
Interim Executive Director
Hospice Georgian Triangle
705-444-2555 ext. 7520