Oceanside Hospice reacts to national report on palliative care

Local group believes it is a leader in the field and is already doing much of what's been recommended in the report

Oceanside Hospice says it welcomes the recent Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) report, agreeing there are gaps and barriers to palliative care in Canada.

“In our community the Oceanside Hospice Society has been a leader in the development of hospice palliative care,” said executive director Andy Telffer in a news release commenting on the national report.

The report, “Right to Care: Palliative Care for all Canadians,” released Tuesday sets out recommendations, including “Train health-care providers.”

“Oceanside Hospice Society helps educate local health-care providers in several ways: by participating on regional multi-stakeholder groups, providing information and education to local doctors and medical office assistants, and by providing advice and supports to local home care providers,” he said.

On the recommendation “Support patients and family caregivers,” Telfer wrote that Oceanside Hospice is very active.

“On a daily basis we help families by lending medical equipment such as beds and walkers for loved ones who have been diagnosed as palliative, and our trained volunteers can assist by offering support to families and patients.”

“This recommendation also identifies the importance of ‘encouraging and promoting advance care planning.’ Our volunteers speak regularly on advance care planning, which is a tool that helps ensure that others know one’s health care wishes when one is unable to convey them.”

Oceanside Hospice also offers bereavement services for those who have suffered a loss. as their slogan says, “It’s a path we’ll all walk someday… Let us share the journey.”

Telfer said the report calls for increased palliative care funding. “Studies show that most Canadians wish to die at home, while currently that is not the case. With an aging population, the demand for financial support for end-of-life care will increase. When dying at home is the preferred option for all involved, services from charities like Oceanside Hospice Society can have a significant impact, although as demand for services increases, increases in funding will also be necessary.”

“Locally, we continue to work closely with Island Health. Oceanside Hospice Society plays several roles at the new Hospice at Trillium unit, which has already benefited many local families by allowing them to keep their loved ones closer to home. We look forward to the completion of Island Health’s plan to open more hospice beds in the future.”

For more information on the programs run by the Oceanside Hospice Society, call 250-752-6227 or visit www.oceansidehospice.com.

— NEWS Staff/Oceanside Hospice news release

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