Support & Palliative Care

Palliative care is a type of health care for patients and families facing life-threatening illness. The services help patients achieve the best possible quality of life right up until the end of life. Palliative care is also called end-of-life, or comfort care (via virtualhospice.com).

Palliative care includes the following (via Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation):

  • Reducing the symptoms of cancer and the side effects of treatment
  • Managing pain
  • Addressing emotional, psychological and spiritual needs
  • Enjoying and enhancing relationships with friends and family
  • Supporting the patient in living as actively and fully as possible
  • Supporting caregivers
  • Preparing for the end of life

Palliative care does not necessarily end when your love one passes away. Many hospice palliative care centres offer bereavement programs for the friends and family of the patient following their death. They may need help with managing strain and stress, and an additional support system as they grieve.

Palliative Care Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are palliative care and hospice the same thing? In Canada, the two terms are the same thing. Some people refer to hospices as centres in their community in comparison to a centre inside a hospital.

Who benefits from palliative care? Family, friends and the individual who has a life-threatening illness will benefit from palliative care. The end-of-life is difficult – these centres try to make it as easy on the individual and support system as possible.

What is involved in palliative care? Palliative care aims to (via npc.org.uk):

  • Affirm life and regard dying as a normal process
  • Provide relief from pain and other distressing symptoms
  • Integrates the psychological and spiritual aspects of patient care
  • Offer a support system to help patients live as actively as possible until death
  • Offer a support system to help the family cope during the patient’s illness and in their own bereavement

Who provides palliative care?
Who is on the palliative care team is determined by the needs of the patients and his or her family. The team often includes nurses with specialized palliative care skills, the person’s family physician, a physician specialized in palliative care, a social worker, a spiritual counsellor, and a pharmacist.

Where can people receive palliative care?
People can receive palliative care (via chpca.net):

At home. Palliative care is often provided at people’s homes through home care programs. These programs provide professional nursing care a variety of other services. Other services may include volunteer services, day programs offered for the ill family member in their community, pain and symptom management teams and 24-hour emergency response teams.
Hospitals. Some hospitals have palliative care units with a palliative care team made up of health professionals who specialize in palliative care – some hospitals will set aside beds in different units of the hospital for people who are in need of palliative care.
Long-term care facilities. Palliative care services may also be offered in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes. It is sometimes necessary for residents who need more specialized palliative care services to enter a hospital. Long-term care facilities are less likely than hospitals to have specialized palliative care units
Hospices. In Canada, there are only a few residential hospices-separate buildings or apartments where palliative care is provided in a home-like setting. Some people move into hospices to receive palliative care on a 24-hour basis.

Who pays for palliative care?
If you chose to receive palliative care in a hospital, it is likely to be funded by the provincial health plan. These plans usually include cost of drugs, medical supplies and equipment while the person is in the hospital.
If the patient will be using at-home palliative care services, it may be paid for by the provincial health plan as part of a home care program. These plans do not always include the cost of drugs and equipment used at home. Some plans allow only a certain number of paid hours of professional and home support services. After the hours are used up, people need to look for other ways to pay for these services.

Bereavement support is generally cost-free. It is important that people requiring palliative care and their families find out as soon as possible who pays for what and what additional financial assistance may be available.

Palliative Care Resources

Compassionate Care Benefits Employment insurance benefits paid to people who have to be away from work temporarily to provide care or support to a family member who is gravely ill and who has a significant risk of death within 26 weeks (six months). A maximum of six weeks of compassionate care benefits may be paid to eligible people.

The Canadian Virtual Hospice Provides support and personalized information about palliative and end-of-life care to patients, family members, health care providers, researchers and educators.

The Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association A national association which provides leadership in hospice palliative care in Canada. Advancing and advocating for quality end-of-life/hospice palliative care in Canada, its work includes public policy, public education and awareness.

Canadian Palliative Care Services

Alberta

The Alberta Hospice Palliative Care Association
The Alberta Hospice Palliative Care Association (AHPCA) engages in actions and strategies that result in comprehensive, equitable and quality end of life care for Albertans.
Contact information
1245-70 Avenue SE
Calgary AB
T2H 2X8
Tel: 403.206.9938
Website: http://ahpca.ca/

Edmonton Zone Palliative Care Program 
The Edmonton Zone Palliative Care Program (EZPCP), formerly called The Regional Palliative Care Program (RPCP) EZPCP Team is a community based model of palliative care services designed to increase access to high quality, cost effective palliative care services.
Contact information
335 St. Marguerite Health Services Centre
Grey Nuns Community Centre
1090 Youville Drive West
Edmonton, AB
T6L 0A3
Tel: 780.735.7834
Fax: 780.735l.7640

Intercare Hospice Programs
Comprehensive care, focused on easing the physical, emotional and spiritual pain that often accompanies terminal illness, is offered by the hospice’s dedicated and specialized team of professionals.
Contact Information
Chinook Hospice
1261 Glenmore Trail SW
Calgary, Alberta T2V 4Y8
Tel: 403.258.0040
Fax: 403.255.7323

Southwood Hospice
211 Heritage Drive SE
Calgary, Alberta T2H 1M9
Tel: 403.252.0620
Fax: 403.252.9291

University of Alberta Hospital 
The Division of Palliative Care Medicine focuses on the assessment and management of physical and psychosocial-spiritual issues experienced by patients with advanced cancer and other palliative care patient populations.
Contact information
Palliative Care Program
8440 112 Street Outpatient Residence Room 4T1.11
Edmonton, AB
T6G 2B7
Tel: 780-407-2840
Fax: 780-407-1394

Manitoba

CancerCare Manitoba 
General information on palliative care for patients in the province of Manitoba.
Contact information
Tel: 204.787.2197
Toll-free: 1.866.561.1026

Grace Hospital 
The Grace Hospice is a free-standing palliative care facility on the grounds of Grace Hospital. It provides an environment where people living with progressing illness can live in an atmosphere of peace and comfort.
Contact information
300 Booth Drive
Winnipeg, MB R3J 3M7
Tel: 204.837.0111
Emergency Inquiry line: 204.837.0157

Palliative Manitoba 
Palliative Manitoba is a registered charity that is keenly focused on improving living until the end of life. Serving as a vital resource for individuals, families, and caregivers, Palliative Manitoba provides services, programs, and information in an effort to lessen the stress that is inevitable during life’s final journey.
Contact information
2109 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, MB R3J0L3
Tel: 204.889.8525
Toll-free in Manitoba: 1.800.539.0295
Fax: 204.888.8874
Email: info@manitobahospice.mb.ca

Riverview Health Centre
The unit is designated for the care of patients with life-limiting illnesses who have been registered with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority Palliative Care Program and require the knowledge and expertise of an interdisciplinary Palliative Care Team.
Contact information
One Morley Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3L 2P4
Tel: 204.478.6203
Email: rhcinfo@rhc.mb.ca

New Brunswick

New Brunswick Hospice Palliative Care Association
The New Brunswick Hospice Palliative Care Association provides leadership to enhance quality end-of-life-care for individuals and families living with life-threatening illnesses in New Brunswick.
Contact information
135 MacBeath Ave
Moncton, New Brunswick
E1C 6Z8
Tel: 506.857.5001
Fax: 506.857.5133

Hospice Greater Saint John 
The focus of Hospice care is on comfort, not cure – and on life, not death. Our goal is to make each person’s last months of life as comfortable as possible while also providing support to family members and friends. Hospice is about dignity, respect, comfort, peace and hope. It is about celebrating life and enhancing your quality of living.
Contact information
385 Dufferin Row
Saint John, New Brunswick
E2M 2J9
Main Line: 506.632.5593
Bobby’s Hospice: 506.653.2995
Main Fax: 506.632.5592
Email: info@hospicesj.ca
Website: www.hospicesj.ca

Newfoundland

WHCC Palliative Care Service (Western Newfoundland) 
WHCC offers palliative patient beds in the hospital, health centres, and within the community.
Contact information
1 Brookfield Avenue Box 2005
Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador
A2H 6J7
Tel: 709.637.5000 Ext. 5203

Ontario

Hospice Palliative Care Ontario 
An information network for residents of Ontario on hospice palliative care, treatment, education and support.
Contact information
2 Carlton Street, Suite 707
Toronto, Ontario
M5B 1J3
Tel: 416.304.1477
Toll Free: 1.800.349.3111
Fax: 416.304.1479

LRCP Palliative Care Services
Information and support services for patients in the Southwest region of Ontario.
Contact information
Tel: 519.685.8500 ext. 57930 & ext. 57918

Prince Edward Island

Provincial Office
Hospice PEI (Hospice Palliative Care Association of PEI) 
Information and support services for patients in the Southwest region of Ontario.
Contact information
93 Murchison Lane
Charlottetown, PE
C1A 0G3
Tel: 902.368.4498
Email: hpca@hospicepei.ca

West Prince
Hospice & Grief Support Services
Tel: 902.859.2870
Email: westprince@hospicepei.ca

East Prince
Hospice & Grief Support Services
Tel: 902.438.4231
Email: eastprince@hospicepei.ca

Queens
Hospice Services
Tel: 902.368.4095
Email: queens@hospicepei.ca

Grief Support Services
Tel: 902.368-4064
Email: griefsupport@hospicepei.ca

Quebec

West Island Palliative Care 
With its two facilities (André-Brunet and Stillview Pavilions), the West Island Palliative Care Residence provides compassionate care allowing terminally ill patients to die in comfort and with dignity in a warm, home-like environment, close to their family, and in their community.
Contact information
265 Rue André-Brunet
Kirkland, QC
Tel: 514.693.1718
Website: www.wipcr.ca

Jeffery Hale Saint Brigid’s 
Saint Brigid’s Home, founded in 1856, is a publicly-funded long-term care residence for senior citizens who can no longer live at home. We recognize each person as a holistic being with biological, physiological, social and spiritual needs.
Contact information
1250 Chemin Sainte-Foy
Québec, QC
Tel: 418.684.5333
Website: www.jhsb.ca

The Palliative Home-care Society of Greater Montreal
Offers and dispenses palliative care services to any person suffering from pre-terminal or terminal cancer and who wishes to remain at home during the last phase of their life.
Contact information
1110, Jean Talon east
Suite 301
Montreal. QC
H2R 1V9
Tel: 514.272.7200
Fax: 514.272.0134

Saskatchewan

Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region Palliative Care Services
The Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region is the largest health care delivery system in southern Saskatchewan, and one of the most integrated health delivery agencies in the country. Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region provides tertiary care to residents of Saskatchewan in two provincial hospitals – the Regina General Hospital and the Pasqua Hospital.
Contact information
Tel: 306.766.3232
Toll-free: 1.866.411.7272
E-mail: clientrep@rqhealth.ca

Greystone Bereavement Centre
The Greystone Bereavement Centre provides grief and bereavement services in a safe environment for people to share in the experience of journeying through their grief.
Contact information
1802 McAra St
Regina, SK S4N 6C4
Tel: 306.523.2780
Fax: 306.523.2787
Email: support@rpci.org

Saskatchewan Hospice Palliative Care Association 
Their mission is to strive towards achieving comfort and peace for persons across Saskatchewan living and dying with a terminal illness.
Contact Information
Box 37053
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
S4S 7K3
Tel: 306.522.3232
Toll-free: 1.888.614.8016
Email: info@saskpalliativecare.org

Territories

Yukon

Palliative Care Program
Palliative care information and services for patients within the Yukon community.
Contact Information
Government of Yukon
Box 2703
Whitehorse, Yukon
Y1A 2C6
Tel: 867.456.6807
Toll-free (in Yukon): 1.800.661.0408 ext. 6807

Nunavut

Nunavut does not have a hospice palliative care association in place. For information on hospice palliative care services available in Nunavut, visit the government website at: http://www.gov.nu.ca/health/ or a government listing of all health centres in Nunavut at: http://canadaonline.about.com/library/bl/blhlthnun.htm.

For information re hospice palliative care in Canada visit http://www.chpca.net

Northwest Territories

Northwest Territories Health and Social Services
The Home Care Program helps people remain in their homes when they are sick or in need of medical help or support with daily living activities.
Contact Information
8th Floor – Centre Square Tower 5022-49 street BOX 1320
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
X1A 2L9
Tel: 867.873.7500
Email: hsscommunications@gov.nt.ca