End of Life
End of life and palliative care is more than science, it’s a philosophy. Most of my medical career has been about fixing and curing things but with palliative care we’re moving the goal posts. The focus isn’t on tests, diagnoses and treatments but instead on improving quality of life and making today as comfortable as possible given the circumstances.
This sort of care is not easy and it isn’t one-size fits all.
People experience death in different ways and family dynamics and the different relationships that each person has with the person dying can make things challenging. Thoughtful communication, tailoring, and involving families in planning can all improve people’s experience and make for a dignified death.
The health care system could do a lot to improve on end-of-life-care but there are some great programs, projects and excellent resources out there. We’ve linked to some of them below but tell us what we’ve missed.
The Best of the Rest
|Advance Care Planning Canada
||This site has a wealth of resources to help people start and finish the conversation about end-of-life care.
||This site helps make a difficult topic approachable. Patients, caregivers, health professionals, educators etc. - no matter who you are or what stage of life you're at there is a resource here for you. |
||Their description is best: "The Canadian Virtual Hospice provides support and personalized information about palliative and end-of-life care to patients, family members, health care providers, researchers and educators."
||This is an awesome site with lots of practical, useful resources. Love how interactive it is too - you can email or even call with your questions.|
|The Conversation Project: What does a good day look like for you?
||In this short video a palliative care doctor talks about the importance of getting to know the patient as a person and finding out what they want. Then Dolly Baker does what she wants - she jazzes it up.
||Great example of how when we stop medicalizing and trying to fix everything and pay attention to what matters most to the person, the end-of-life experience can actually include some pleasant, even joyful, times. |
|When I Die : Lessons from the Death Zone
||Here's how the video is described on the site: Philip Gould shares his thoughts as he confronts his impending death from cancer. How do we approach death whilst embracing life? How can we change the conversation around end-of-life?
||No matter where we are in our lives, we could all learn from listening to Philip Gould talk about how to re-frame death and how to improve the end-of-life experience. |