Hospice Palliative Care

What is Hospice Palliative Care?

Hospice palliative care is a philosophy of care that aims to relieve suffering and improve the quality of life for persons who are living with, or dying from, advanced illness or are bereaved. Hospice palliative care is appropriate for any individual and/or family living with, or at risk of developing, a life-threatening illness due to any diagnosis, with any prognosis, regardless of age, and at any time they have unmet expectations and/or needs, and are prepared to accept care.

The Goals of Palliative Care

The goal of palliative care is to provide comfort and dignity for the person living with the illness as well as his or her family. An important objective of palliative care is relief of pain and other symptoms. Additionally, palliative care addresses the psychological, social, cultural, emotional and spiritual needs of each person and family.

At Home Palliative Care

Palliative care services are offered in many places, including hospitals, long term care facilities, residential hospices and in your own home. Evidence suggests that most people would prefer to die in that familiarity of their home. A well-managed death at home is a gentle, natural experience.

Palliative care services can be arranged by the HCCSS - Home & Community Care Support Services (formerly the LHIN). The services will be provided by home care service providers and paid for by the government. In addition, many families choose to purchase additional care to provide support and comfort during this difficult time. Home Care Ontario members offer family-funded services and are able to assist families in determining the nature and amount of care that would be helpful.

The Association's policy paper: Enabling Palliative Care at Home

How we treat those who are living with or dying from life-limiting illnesses in our community reflects who we are as a society.

All Ontarians have the right to quality hospice palliative care, which includes the right to optimize the quality of their life, to have access to physical, psychological, social, bereavement and spiritual care, to have respect consistent with other phases of life, and to die with dignity. (Advancing High Quality, High Value Palliative Care in Ontario – Declaration of Partnership and Commitment to Action)

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