Hospice palliative care is a philosophy of care and services which help relieve suffering and improve quality of life for people with a life-limiting illness. Hospice palliative care does not hasten or delay death. Hospice palliative care is about access to the best possible quality of life at the end of life.
Whether you are at home, in hospital, a hospice bed or a residential care facility your health care team will provide:
- Care to help relieve symptoms such as pain, nausea, shortness of breath, fatigue, insomnia
- Information on services and care options, legal and financial matters
- Teaching for families on how to provide or assist with care
- Emotional support
- Referrals to available services, such as volunteers or counselling
You must be registered by your physician with the Northern Health Hospice Palliative Care program and assessed by your local Home Health / Community Services office before receiving these resources.
Information for Patients and Families
Northern Health also offers access to publicly subsidized hospice palliative care (HPC) beds located in a number of our long term care facilities. Hospice palliative care beds are available to those people with progressive life threatening illnesses.
Admission to hospice palliative care beds can be for:
- Short stay admission for control of symptoms such as pain or nausea, transition from hospital to home and for caregiver rest, or
- Permanent admission for care during the last days or weeks of life.
Publicly Subsidized Hospice Palliative Care Beds
The following long term care facilities have hospice palliative care beds that provide 24 hour professional nursing care and end-of-life care:
- Acropolis Manor, Prince Rupert
- Terraceview Lodge, Terrace
- Bulkley Lodge, Smithers
- Rotary Manor, Dawson Creek
- Dunrovin Park Lodge, Quesnel
- Peace Villa, Fort St John
Northern Health works in partnership with the Prince George Hospice Society to fund Rotary Hospice House, a 10-bed hospice house that provides comfort and care in a home-like setting. A brief description of Rotary Hospice House is available.
Your health care team will ensure that you have the knowledge and the understanding of your situation to enable you to make informed choices. Contact your local Home Health / Community Services office for more information.
Hospice Palliative Care (HPC) is the care offered to a person whose disease is no longer curable. It is not offered with the intent to hasten or delay death. It does strive to provide comfort to the patient and family by addressing physical, emotional, social, spiritual and information needs. The Northern Health (NH) HPC Program offers a support system to help patients enjoy the best possible quality of life until death.
Whether you are a person who has been given a diagnosis of a life threatening illness, or a family member, you may be feeling overwhelmed as you face change and loss. It is normal to feel this way and to experience a range of emotions. The NH HPC team and services are provided to support you on your journey. The more information and support you have, the more in control and able to cope you may feel.
- You and your family are the center of the team. Your health care team will ensure that you have the knowledge and the understanding of your situation to enable you to make informed choices.
- At this stage of life the needs of yourself and your family are complex; a team approach is essential. In addition to your family doctor, your team my include specialist doctors, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, volunteers, care aides, physiotherapist, occupation therapists, respiratory therapists, nutritionists, spiritual care providers, and counselors.
- A HPC Consultation Team is also available to assist and advise your health care team. The Consultation Team includes a doctor, pharmacist, and a registered nurse, all with advanced training and expertise in HPC.
HPC Services and Resources
Whether you are at home, in hospital, a hospice bed or a long term care facility, your health care team will provide:
- Care to help relieve symptoms such as pain, nausea, shortness of breath, fatigues, insomnia, etc.
- Information on services and care options, legal and financial matters.
- Teaching for families on how to provide or assist with care.
- Emotional support.
- Referrals to available services, e.g. volunteers, counseling.
To ease the emotional and financial burden of providing care at home, Northern Health provides the following resources:
- Selected medical supplies, e.g. wound dressings, incontinence supplies, mouth care swabs, etc.
- Free loan of equipment, as available in your area, e.g. hospital style bed, safety and mobility aides, commodes, hospital gowns, etc.
- Home support: free of charge to you, i.e. trained Community Health Workers who will provide assistance with personal care and meal preparation for the patient, and prove a break (respite) for their caregiver.
You must be registered by your doctor with the Northern Health HPC Program and assessed by your local Home Health / Community Care Services before receiving these services.
BC Palliative Care Benefits Program
This is a provincial program that provides selected prescription and over the counter medications which may be needed to control your symptoms. Ask your doctor to register you for this program, if you are eligible.
Federal EI program providing up to 6 weeks of special benefits to specified family members caring for or providing support to a seriously ill family member. Check Services Canada EI Compassionate Care Benefits website for who is eligible and for what forms need to be completed.
Discuss your situation with your doctor. If applicable, she or he will:
- Register you with NH HPC Program
- Register you with the BC Palliative Care Benefits Program
- Refer you to Home Care Services, i.e. nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, home support.
Are available to help patients in any care setting. Contact your local Hospice Palliative Care Society.