Public urged to ‘make the most’ of palliative care
25/09/2014Campaign to highlight benefits of palliative care for people with an incurable illness. A major information campaign to highlight how palliative care can improve the quality of life of any person with an incurable illness, has been announced.
The campaign Making the most of life will take place during the first-ever Palliative Care Week from October 6-11. It is an all-island campaign and being coordinated by the All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care (AIIHPC).
The Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety Edwin Poots said: “I warmly welcome the first-ever all-island Palliative Care Week as an opportunity to encourage conversations among patients, carers, families and health and social care professionals about how the best possible care can be delivered to a person living with an incurable condition as well as their family and carers.”
The campaign aims to change the common public perception that palliative care is about pain relief for older people during the final days of life, to an understanding that including a palliative care approach, as part of a medical care plan, helps to achieve the best possible quality of life for a person with an incurable condition.
AIIHPC Director Paddie Blaney said: “A palliative care approach looks at much more than medical need. It seeks to care for all aspects of the person - mind, body and spiritual.
“It is beneficial for anyone with a non-curable illness, regardless of age or condition and also supports their family, friends and carers both during an illness and afterwards.
“For the very best outcomes palliative care starts as early as possible and is suitable for a number of years, not just the weeks and days at the end of life.”
The campaign is also being supported by Voices4Care member and patient advocate Arthur Newell who lives in Lisburn: “Palliative care enables people to enjoy a better quality of life and when faced with an incurable illness. It is invaluable for patients and families throughout an illness and afterwards.”
The campaign is being supported by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, Public Health Agency, the five Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Trusts and providers of hospice and palliative care across, as well as health agencies and providers in the Republic of Ireland.
Many information events will take place across Northern Ireland during Palliative Care Week, as well as newspaper, radio and online adverts. More information will be at www.palliativecareweek.com