Even if you have not heard of “Game of Thrones,” you are apt to remember this special gift the cast gave to Claire Walton, an 88-year-old hospice patient.
“Sometimes it is not the drugs/training/skills – sometimes all you need is empathy to make a difference!”
Click here to read this heartwarming story.
Your insights and suggestions are being sought as a means of improving Alberta’s Palliative and End-of-Life Care (PEOLC) website. By perusing the website and completing a short survey, you will be helping to ensure that the information provided is applicable, accessible and easy to understand. Please see below for additional details.
The provincial Palliative and End-of-Life Care (PEOLC) website has been available to all Albertans since May 2015. This provincial online resource allows Albertans and health care providers convenient access to trusted, evidence-based palliative and end-of-life care information that supports and enhances quality of life and quality of care. Creation of this website was one of the recommendations that came out of the PEOLC Alberta Provincial Framework (2014) and was supported by the Provincial Palliative and End-of-Life Care Innovations Steering Committee (PPAL/ EOL ISC). Implementing an evaluation plan for this website is a deliverable on the provincial PEOLC timelines and planning document for the 2017/18 fiscal year. We have developed an online feedback survey as part of the provincial PEOLC website evaluation plan.
We want to hear, for example, did you find information you were looking for, is the website easy to navigate, did you notice any gaps in the content? Actions requested:
- Please visit our provincial PEOLC website: https://myhealth.alberta.ca/palliative-care
- Please complete the brief online feedback survey by Oct. 5 by clicking on the following link: https://survey.albertahealthservices.ca/TakeSurvey.aspx?SurveyID=PEOLC_website
We will use this information to continue to enhance the website for all Albertans.
If you have been following the assisted dying discussion that is happening in Canada, you know that some patients have been denied medically assisted dying. The reason for this was not because the individuals failed to meet the necessary legal requirements, but because the hospitals/care facilities in which they found themselves would not provide the services to carry out the patients’ wishes.
In a recent article, André Picard argues that hospitals have no right to refuse a patient assisted dying. As he poignantly states:
It is reasonable for individual physicians and nurses to declare a conscientious objection and not participate in assisted death. But a hospital or nursing home has no such right. Publicly funded institutions cannot arbitrarily decide what services they will provide, nor should they be able to shunt dying patients around like sacks of rice.
Click here to read the full article.
In a recent article found in the Globe and Mail, Jonathan Reggler, a general physician who makes daily patient visits to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Comox, B.C., took a stand against the hospital’s assisted-dying policy. While it is true that Catholic hospitals across the country are transferring patients who request assisted suicide to facilities where this can occur, the process can involve a great deal of emotional, mental and physical pain to the patient and his/her family. With such suffering being inflicted on the patient and the fact that the service requested is being carried out elsewhere, the question being asked is: Should faith-based hospitals should receive public funding? As Daphne Gilbert, a law professor at the University of Ottawa, states, “The Catholic hospitals have put themselves in a tricky position.” Click here to read the full article.
Although the following is a work of fiction, Patricia Bath (author) states, “[T]he situation explored may be all too common.” Without further adieu, let the story begin.
Beep. Beep. Beep. There’s a slow, rhythmic sound next to my head. I’ve never heard a sound like it before. I hear a whoosh on the other side of me, and at the same time I feel pressure in my chest, like a balloon that on the verge of popping.
It only lasts a few seconds and the pressure is gone. My chest returns to normal and I immediately feel better. Something squeezes my left arm tight—so tight that I want to yell. But I can’t make any words come out.
Then, just as quick as the pressure in my chest came and left, so does the pinch around my arm. I don’t know where I am, but I feel like I’m being tortured.
“I know that it’s cold in here, but I’ll use this warm blanket to keep you warm,” says the strange voice, belonging to a person I can’t see.
Who are you, I try to ask. But just as the darkness around me persists, so does my inability to speak. I have no idea where I am, and I’m scared.
The voice comes back, “Ok, it’s time to roll on your side.” I feel someone tug on my left side and roll me onto my right. A new beeping starts: this one sounds angry, like something’s wrong. I want to ask but I can’t make the words come out. I feel what I think is water and a washcloth on my backside and I’m overcome with embarrassment.
Why is this stranger washing me? I feel the sensation of rubber being dragged across my left side as I hear a different voice say, “Hey, I’m dropping her here. Are you almost done?” There’s a little push on my back and the rubber stops tearing at my left side.
click here to continue reading.
Meet Heather Meyerend, a hospice nurse who works in South Brooklyn. As such, Heather addresses people’s physical, emotional, psychological and spritual needs when they are most vulnerable.
She sees her work as preparing a patient for the voyage he is about to take, and accompanying him partway down the road. She, like most hospice workers, feels that it is a privilege to spend time with the dying, to be allowed into a person’s life and a family’s life when they are at their rawest and most vulnerable, and when they most need help. Some hospice workers believe that working with the dying is the closest you can get on earth to the presence of God.
Click here to continue reading.
In a recent blog post, Anon456, a former ICU nurse, describes her typical day in the palliative unit. In the midst of paperwork, administration of medicine and providing patient care, Anon456 recognizes what an honor it is to be part of the end-of-life journey.
It’s 0653. I pull up to the hospice unit, clock in, fill my coffee mug, and get my nursing brain printed out. At 0700, I count narcotics and take report on six patients. It’s going to be a busy day, one of those days where I must control the chaos, take the time to support patients, complete as many of the thousand tasks set before me as I can, and be prepared to deal with the unexpected.
I work in a palliative/hospice inpatient unit, a place where patients come when they are in crisis,can’t be cared for at home, or simply have no place else to go. One of my patients today is in indigent man who has no one in the world.We cannot locate his family. We don’t even know his real name. He slipped into a coma yesterday and is non-responsive. We take care of him, call him by the name we think he has, and witness his last hours or days.
Click here to read the full blog post.
According to a recent study, the end-of-life care provided at nights and weekends in the United Kingdom is less than satisfactory. One reason for this is the inadequate number of palliative care specialists available. “There are nowhere near enough palliative care doctors and nurses to provide a 24/7 service across the whole of the UK – we only have 1 palliative care consultant and 5 palliative care nurses per 1000 beds” (http://google.com/newsstand/s/CBIwxsTMpio).
Is this situation unique to the UK or does it occur elsewhere as well? What is palliative care like where you reside?