On Saturday, October 10th people from around the world who have been impacted by a life-limiting illness — either personally or by supporting a loved one — will be making their voices heard in support of World Hospice and Palliative Care Day.

World Hospice and Palliative Care Day takes places annually on the second Saturday of October and is organized by a committee of the Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance, a network of hospice and palliative care national and regional organizations that support the development of hospice and palliative care worldwide.

On October 10th, individuals and organizations worldwide will rally together to request the support of policy makers to make palliative care policies and services a priority, and to amplify the message of this year’s theme, Palliative Care: “My Care, My Comfort”.

As communities around the world grapple with the impacts and aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s World Hospice & Palliative Care Day theme reminds us that hospice and palliative care is about offering care and comfort to people experiencing serious illness. Individuals and their caregivers, no matter where they live, deserve access to quality end of life support. But even living in an era of such incredible medical advancements, many people living in low and middle-income countries, where over three quarters of the need exists, struggle to access palliative care.

Fortunately for residents of the greater Quinte region, we have a hospice palliative care service here in our own backyard that prioritizes care and comfort for those in need. Hospice Quinte offers Visiting Hospice, Caregiver Support and Bereavement Support Services, in addition to an online library of valuable resources, at absolutely no cost.

Last year, 370 individuals from Quinte received support through Hospice Quinte’s Visiting Hospice service. This special kind of care provides reassurance and much needed respite to caregivers, as well as comfort care and authentic companionship to those who are terminally ill. Hospice Quinte’s Visiting Hospice service is delivered by a roster of trained volunteers who donate their time to provide support.

Hospice palliative care does not end at death. Hospice Quinte continues to provide support to families and individuals following the passing of a loved one through Bereavement Support Services. Two models of bereavement support are presently available: Supportive Bereavement Counselling and Peer Telephone Counselling.

Caregiver Support is also being delivered in a Peer Telephone Support format and is provided by a Hospice Quinte volunteer. All volunteers have completed a 10-week educational program and are trained to understand the unique needs of caregivers. Caregivers can receive additional support from Hospice Quinte by signing up to receive bi-monthly Cyber Caregiver Support emails, which contain helpful tips, information, and directs caregivers to valuable resources.

To further improve accessibility to hospice palliative care for those in our community, and to be able to provide an even higher level of hospice palliative care, Hospice Quinte is building the Hospice Quinte Care Centre. A world-class six-bed community-based hospice residence where 24/7 end of life care can be provided to those in need. Construction officially kicked off early last month, and the Centre is anticipated to open its doors fall 2021.

To learn more about World Hospice and Palliative Care Day, please visit www.thewhpca.org

CHANGE A LIFE TODAY

“The care of the dying demands all that we can do to enable patients to live until they die.”

–Dame Cicely Saunders