St. Joseph’s Health Care Society is committed to exploring opportunities for expanded hospice palliative care support and is currently collaborating with partners in our community to identify the need for additional hospice beds and community services. Palliative care matters to all Canadians and the Society believes we need to place as much emphasis on this critical part of the end-of-life journey as we do on bringing life into the world. That means addressing the gaps in care and support which currently exist in our community.
Palliative care is a special kind of health care for individuals and families who are living with a life-limiting illness that is usually at an advanced stage. An important objective of palliative care is relief of pain and other symptoms. Palliative care meets not only physical needs, but also psychological, social, cultural, emotional and spiritual needs of each person and family, and runs from diagnosis to death and bereavement after a loved one has died.
St. Joseph’s Health Care Society established owns and sponsors two residential hospices in Sarnia and London. Each hospice has a 10-bed residence where people are cared for at the end of life. The hospices also provide support to people in the community. The Parkwood Institute at St. Joseph’s Health Care London also has 14 palliative care beds where end-of-life care is provided.
We are currently working with our system partners to support an integrated palliative care strategy in Canada. National strategies have the potential to improve access and quality and broad involvement at all levels of government with key stakeholders is required. Together we are supporting work to build an integrated national palliative care strategy in the following areas:
- Education, training, and standards for health professionals
- Caregiver supports using local resources
- Advocacy towards a National Centre of Research
- Public awareness campaigns