A message for National Hospice and Palliative Care Week 2018
There is an old proverb that says “It takes a village to raise a child” while its exact origins remain unknown we do know that the inspiration behind this proverb is that it takes an entire community to interact with the child and shape their maturation so that they know right from wrong and grow up in a safe and supportive environment.
This proverb addresses the early stages of life, however, if we look at it from a different perspective a variation of it can be used to help with end of life care. It takes a village to support the dying and bereavement process. May 6-12 is National Hospice Palliative Care Week, the 2018 theme is “Towards a more compassionate Canada, Eh?” it serves as inspiration for Canadians to find answers on what makes a compassionate community and how can compassionate communities support palliative and end of life care.
The finality of death and dying can be overwhelming, frightening and lonely, but, it doesn’t always have to be that way. A compassionate community is one that provides a network of care that encompasses fulfilling end of life wishes and contributes to living well until the very end.
As a recognized member of the community of care de Souza Institute offers healthcare providers our online course iEPEC-O (Education in Palliative and End of Life Care-Oncology). It breaks down those psychological and emotional barriers through a culturally sensitive approach in communication and exercises that outlines a road map for how families can build their community of care.
Compassionate communities can be found through caring neighbours, an empathic workplace and of course loving family. When we gather in groups joy is amplified while the burden of pain and sorrow is shared. As we build a compassionate Canada it is up to all of us to extend a hand of support and receive the hand looking for support.
Mary Jane Esplen, PhD, RN
Executive Director, de Souza Institute