Key Actions to Improve Access to Palliative Care

Over 1,100 physicians who deliver palliative care were surveyed recently for the purpose of providing the direction in improving palliative care services nationally. One of the primary roles of palliative care is to help end of life patients and their families make informed medically significant decisions.  The care is used to relieve pain, stress and symptoms through various therapies.

Only 14% of physicians who provide palliative care consider it their primary field of practice

The key findings from the survey were:

  1. An adequate palliative workforce is needed: physicians must be properly trained and assessed to ensure the highest standard of care.
  2. More support for training and education is needed among family physicians who provide basic day-to-day palliative care.
  3. Palliative medicine must be further developed as seniors health care needs are increasingly more complex.
  4. Minimum palliative medicine standards need to be developed and enhanced.

One of the largest myths about palliative care is that many individuals believe that if the choose palliative care they automatically stop treatment.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Palliative care is given on top of your prescribed medication although the medication might naturally change over time as the care needs evolve.

There are many palliative care services, among the most popular are:

  • Treatment of symptoms: The most common role of palliative care is to relieve physical pain and psychological and emotional symptoms.
  • Establishing and managing goals: Goals that are communicated clearly between all stakeholder's such as the patient, the family of the patient, medical officers and clinicians are integral to palliative care.
  • Coordination of care: Navigating through the complex care system is an extremely challenging task while at the same time dealing with an extremely ill loved family member.  The coordination of care assists in feeling more control of the care process.

Many patients who endure palliative care have experienced poor quality of life.  Comprehensive palliative care, both physically and emotionally, can vastly improve a patient's life and possibly make it longer.

The details National Palliative Medicine Survey Highlights Areas for Action to Improve Access to Care can be found here.

At Mavencare, we believe that empowering our caregivers with specialized Palliative Care training creates significantly better outcomes for elders, families and caregivers.

Palliative Care Packages

If you or a loved one requires palliative care in the Greater Toronto Area, Calgary, Edmonton or Ottawa, book a free senior care assessment with Mavencare.