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Public Health and Palliative Care

In this month’s newsletter I am excited to share a few of the notes that I wrote while attending the 2015 International Public Health and Palliative Care Conference in Bristol, England. The main focus of the conference was Community Resilience in Practice, with practical examples of how caring communities can look after their dying and how professional organisations can support and help develop these communities.

Key messages from the conference:
  • Look at palliative care and the needs of the dying though a public health lens.
  • Improve death literacy
  • DO NOT leave death to the experts. Expand the team to include community as REAL partners, not just targets of care.
  • Remember that End of Life Care does not begin with palliative care; it begins with community.
  • Remember that death is a social event with a medical component, not a medical event with a social component. The larger part of dying happens outside of the institution and professional care.
  • Help people identify their “ring of confidence” including their friends, family and paid resources.
  • Put family cares/caregivers in the driver seat, and find out what they want/need.

 You can read my reflections in my blog post here

In the blog post I've included video coverage on Youtube, so make sure that you click through to read the blog post on #PHPC2015.

You can Update Subscription Preferences link below to ensure that we have your correct information, or to unsubscribe (although we'd hate to see you go!).

Our mission is to create resources that help front line caregivers, including Personal Support Workers (also known as Health Care Assistants, Nursing Assistants and Hospice Aides), provide excellent care for the dying person and their family.

If you are new to hospice palliative care then we hope that the website, newsletter, videos and podcast library will provide you with a foundation of understanding.  If you are experienced in hospice palliative care, we hope that you can use these resources to support, teach and mentor your colleagues.

If you are an educator we hope that the materials will reinforce what you know, and that the Instructors Guide will help you prepare education sessions that will stimulate your students learning, and facilitate you sharing from your rich experience while meeting the education standards and vocational learning outcomes.

At the recent compassionate communities practitioners day Allen Kellehear launched the new compassionate city charter and chatted with us about the public health and palliative care conference. 
The Groundswell Project

The GroundSwell Project (Australia) is a not for profit organisation known for using innovative arts and health programs to create social and cultural change about death and dying. 

Their aim is to promote resilience and wellbeing in response to end of life issues and to encourage people to build their death literacy. 

Who are they? A committed team of artists, arts practitioners, health professionals, bloggers, film-makers, teachers, nurses, leaders, techy types, playwrights, business professionals, innovators, writers, researchers, story-tellers. 

The Life & Death Matters Hospice Palliative Care Award for Personal Support Workers


Last years winners:Raheleh Rahy, Karen Westlake, Sunisa De Sousa, Marianne Dzube, Jasmine Majaski
This year we will be sponsoring The Life & Death Matters Hospice Palliative Care Award for Personal Support Workers for the PSNO PSW Conference (Ontario, October 2015). We will be covering the registration for four PSW's to attend the conference, who may not otherwise have the opportunity to attend.

The nominations open on August 4, 2015. Deadline for nominations is August 30, 2015 and winners will be announced on October 5, 2015. Stay tuned for more information and links to the application in next month's e-newsletter and on our Facebook page.
Integrating a Palliative Approach

Integrating a Palliative Approach:
Essentials for Personal Support Workers

This book was written specifically for personal support workers, healthcare assistants, nurse’s aides, community support workers. It will engage you with it’s warmth and heart, and provide you with the necessary resources and tools to respond to the needs of the dying and their families. Filled with practical strategies, stories of caregiving, and real-life scenarios, Integrating a Palliative Approach will increase your confidence, and competence, in providing compassionate care for the dying. In reading this book, you will learn the importance of:

  • Integrating a palliative approach into the care of people with any life-threatening disease, early in the disease process, across all care settings
  • Reflection and maintaining therapeutic boundaries • Communication, and how to avoid roadblocks and open the doors to conversation

You will also learn about:

  • Common symptoms, and tools to help you gather information and provide comfort measures
  • Psychosocial needs, and how to create a nurturing place and respond in difficult situations
  • Last days and hours, and strategies to use in caring for the dying person and family
  • Self-care and compassion fatigue, and ways to care for yourself
  • The health care team, and strategies for advocating and communicating
Peer Inside The Textbook
Die-alogues is a series of evening discussion groups hosted by Hospice Northwest which are intended to initiate meaningful conversations about end-of-life issues. By engaging individuals in open, easy and respecful discussions about death and dying, we can better prepare them as they are faced with the stressful decisions that must be made at those difficult time in their lives.

Each event will offer a unique and thought-provoking topic for the evening, during which participants will be invited to discuss the issue and hear other people’s ideas and experiences. A guest speaker with first hand knowledge of the topic will introduce the subject matter and will encourage discussion at the individual tables. which will be enhanced by the additional of delicious desserts and coffee. Everyone is welcome at these community minded events.


For up to date information about upcoming Die-alogue events, please check back here often or join our Hospice Northwest Facebook page.

Photo: Kathy Kortes-Miller, MSW, PhD(C) at the Hospice Palliative Care Ontario Conference in Toronto, 2015
Congratulations to Dr. Rajeev Malhotra, the winner of the Career College Ontario Instructor of the Year award, sponsored by Life and Death Matters.

“He makes it easy to remember and HARD to forget! He cares about the students, often reaching out to help meet their needs so that they can continue the program. He helps people come to believe in themselves and helps them succeed in life."

Upcoming Events


Train the Trainer Workshop – for college instructors and workplace educators using the “Integrating a Palliative Approach: Essentials for Personal Support Workers” resources.
To be offered in the Toronto, Ontario, Canada area
Friday October 23, 2015
Keep your eye on future enewsletters for details or reserve a space in the course
Train the Trainer Workshop – for college instructors and workplace educators using the “Integrating a Palliative Approach: Essentials for Personal Support Workers” resources.
To be offered in the Ottawa, Ontario, Canada area
Tuesday November 3, 2015
Keep your eye on future enewsletters for details or reserve a space in the course