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What is Hospice Palliative Care?

Hospice palliative care is a philosophy of care that aims to relieve suffering and improve the quality of living and dying. It strives to help individuals and families to: address physical, psychological, social, spiritual and practical issues, and their associated expectations, needs, hopes and fears prepare for and manage self-determined life closure and the dying process cope with loss and grief during the illness and bereavement treat all active issues prevent new issues from occurring promote opportunities for meaningful and valuable experiences, personal and spiritual growth, and self-actualization.
Hospice palliative care:
  • Is appropriate for any individual and/or family living with, or at risk of developing, a life-threatening illness due to any diagnosis, with any prognosis, regardless of age, and at any time they have unmet expectations and/or needs, and are prepared to accept care
  • May complement and enhance disease-modifying, restorative or rehabilitative care or it may become the total focus of care
  • Is most effectively delivered by an inter-professional team of healthcare providers skilled in all aspects of the caring process related to hospice palliative care that may include unregistered staff.
  • Is most effectively provided when the care is integrated at the clinical, organizational and overall system level.
  • Is person and family centred, respecting their social, spiritual and cultural practices. Includes end of life care but is not limited to the time immediately preceding death.
Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (CHPCA) Model to Guide Hospice Palliative Care (2002)
What is a 'Compassionate Communities Approach'?