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A Vision for Palliative Care in Canada - Raise the Bar
posted: Monday, June 28, 2010
The Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT) is responding to the recommendations made by The Honourable Sharon Carstairs, P.C. in her report, Raising the Bar: A Roadmap for the Future of Palliative Care in Canada, tabled in the Senate of Canada on June 8th, 2010.
"CAOT has identified as Canadian issues that of an aging population, increasing chronic disease, health human resource needs, as well as the significance of caregivers in our health care system. We recognize that, no matter where they live in Canada, every person living in this country needs access to quality interdisciplinary palliative and end-of-life care," stated Claudia von Zweck, Executive Director, CAOT.
Canada's population is aging, and combined with the increasing numbers of chronic diseases, the demands for hospice palliative care will continue to grow. In 2003, an estimated 4.6 million Canadians were 65 years of age or older, a number that is expected to double in the next 25 years. By 2041, about one in four Canadians is expected to be 65 or over.[i] A recent study of deaths in Western Canada found that approximately 90% of deaths could benefit from palliative care.[ii]
"CAOT strongly supports the vision and recommendations laid out in this report," stated Liz Taylor, President, CAOT. "Quality end-of-life care needs to be directed at the whole person, meaning the physical, psychological, social, spiritual, and is also inclusive of families."
The report offers a vision for palliative care that is "intensely human and caring. It is not synonymous with death - it is about life, about the proper care of someone who is alive, someone who still has days, months, or years remaining to their life."[iii]
To promote access to quality palliative care services, the reports states that there is need for a pan-Canadian approach to:
• promote a culture of care, thereby overcoming the limitations imposed by a death-denying society;
• develop capacity and meet increasing need for palliative/end-of-life care in Canada through increased: research activities and knowledge translation, healthcare provider education and training, and health human resources planning;
• adapt and develop systems and programs to support caregivers;
• integrate services for transitional, seamless access to different care settings by patients and caregivers; and
• improve leadership at the federal, provincial and territorial government levels, as well as at the community level, for promotion of palliative and end-of-life care.
The report makes 17 recommendations addressed to the federall, provincial and territorial governments, as well as to the community. For more information on the recommendations and for a complete copy of the report, visit: http://sen.parl.gc.ca/scarstairs/PalliativeCare/PalliativeCare_e.asp.
To download a copy of the report, visit:
For more information, please contact:
The Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists
[i] Statistics Canada. Estimates of Population, Canada, the Provinces and Territories (Persons). CANSIM Table no. 051-0001.
[ii] Carstairs, The Honourable Sharon. Raising the bar: A Roadmap for the Future of Palliative Care in Canada. June 2010.
[iii] Carstairs, The Honourable Sharon. Raising the bar: A Roadmap for the Future of Palliative Care in Canada. June 2010.