End of Life

Caregiver Insights into Palliative Care

If you are caring for someone who is very frail or living with a chronic condition or life-threatening illness, it can be hard to know if you are doing everything you can.  You want to make sure you are dealing with active issues and preventing new ones from occurring and you want to minimize suffering.  At the same time, you want to be sure you are supporting the care recipient’s psychological, social, and spiritual needs and promoting opportunities for meaningful and valuable experiences.

You could probably use some help with all of this but what would that be? Does thinking about “palliative care” feel like a betrayal of intent? Isn’t it only for end of life?

The answer is no.

A palliative approach to care focuses on the person and their family, their needs and goals of care from time of diagnosis. It has been proven that earlier integration of a palliative approach can lead to better management of symptoms and improved quality of life and care.  It doesn’t mean speeding up or delaying death.

Tune in to this webinar to learn more about palliative care, what programs are available in the community, who to ask about them and what they could do for you and the person being cared for.  We are fortunate to have 4 guest panelists joining us for this webinar:  Pat Porterfield from the BC Centre for Palliative Care brings 35 years of experience in palliative care as a clinician, educator and researcher. Pat played a vital role in extending palliative approaches to residential care facilities and primary care within Vancouver Coastal Health and since retirement has played a lead role in raising public awareness around the importance of Advance Care Planning.  Katherine Arnup is an historian, Associate Professor in the School of Canadian Studies at Carleton University and life coach. Katherine is the author of several books, most recently one titled “I don’t have time for this! – A Compassionate Guide to Caring for Your Parents and Yourself”.  In this book Katherine shares her practical and spiritual reflections on the difficult feelings associated with caring for aging parents along with a road map for how to deal with them.  David May is a rural family physician specialized in palliative care. Since October 2014, he has been leading a project that increases knowledge about palliative care and improves care for palliative patients and caregivers in Powell River. The project launched a public awareness campaign with brochures, articles, public events and two videos (http://yt.vu/+prdfp ).  Christien Kaaij is a project manager and community developer and has been supporting Dr. May with is palliative care project since April 2015.

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  1. Pat Porterfield from the BC Centre for Palliative Care has been involved in palliative care as a clinician, educator and researcher for the past 35 years.She retired from her position as Regional Leader for Palliative Care at Vancouver Coastal Health in 2012. While at Vancouver Coastal Health, she was involved with initiatives to extend a palliative approach into residential care and primary care, including participation in the development of the GPSC Practice Support Program (PSP) End-of-Life Module. She was also involved in the development of advance care planning within Vancouver Coastal Health. Since retirement, she has continued with public education for advance care planning and co-chairs the BC Centre for Palliative Care Advance Care Planning Public Awareness and Education Working Group. These experiences have served to broaden Pat’s understanding of the benefits and challenges of integrating a palliative approach to systems of care.

  1. Katherine Arnup is a writer, life coach, hospice volunteer, and a retired Carleton University professor. She is the author of the award-winning book, Education for Motherhood and editor of the pioneering book Lesbian Parenting: Living with Pride and Prejudice. As a life coach, she provides compassionate, courageous support for people dealing with major transitions and for families and individuals dealing with aging, illness and end of life issues. Her latest book, “I Don’t Have Time For This!” A Compassionate Guide to Caring for Your Parents and Yourself, tackles the final taboo – death itself.

  1. David May has been a family doctor for 25 years. He is a graduate of the University of London and Royal Free Hospital, a charity hospital that grew at the end of 19th century, treated the poor of London, and was one of the first hospitals to train women. His areas of focus are palliative care and pain management, mental health, and anesthesia. David has designed a teaches a palliative care and chronic pain module for physicians and registered nurses. He is the board chair of the Powell River Division of Family Practice, Collaborative Services Committee member, and sits on the mental health review panel board.


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