If you have a life-threatening condition or a serious illness, palliative care can help improve your quality of life, reduce or relieve your physical and psychological symptoms, help you have a more peaceful and dignified death, and support your family and those you care for while you are dying and afterward.
There is no single national palliative care program. This is why governments and health care institutions are developing better models of palliative care in Canada where service is provided through a range of settings and the needs of family and caregivers are recognized. Advanced care planning is encouraged as part of treatment plans.
This type of treatment can involve pain management, symptom management, social, physical, spiritual and emotional support, and caregiver support.
These services can be appropriate for people of all ages. They aim to make you and your loved ones feel as comfortable as possible. This can be done through personalized treatment plans that meet your needs and those of your family.
Information and support on palliative and end-of-life care, loss and grief can also be found at the Canadian Virtual Hospice.
Palliative care can be provided in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, at home, long-term care facilities, and hospices.
While hospitals are designed to address severe and urgent needs, they may not be the best location for comfortable end-of-life care. Also, delivery of and access to palliative and hospice care varies across Canada. This is due to differences in the needs of society, level of funding, regional demographics, organization of health care services, availability of trained health care providers and volunteers.