The Hon. Sharon Carstairs (right) poses with Hospice Peterborough executive director Linda Sunderland at Oct. 18 palliative-care presentation.
Carstairs praises OMNI for palliative-care teams
Former minister with special responsibility for palliative care says OMNI is 'doing the right thing'
October 19, 2012
PETERBOROUGH, Ont. - Sharon Carstairs says the best thing long-term care homes can do to enhance palliative care is to have specially-trained teams of staff members who focus on end-of-life care. When told OMNI Health Care has such teams in its 17 long-term care residences, she didn’t mince words: “If they’re doing that, then they’re doing the right thing.”
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Carstairs, former government leader in the Senate and minister with special responsibility for palliative care, spoke to the OMNIway following a presentation she delivered in Peterborough about the role community leadership can play in achieving quality palliative care.
Carstairs underscores that a long-term care home is just that — a home. By having trained palliative-care teams in long-term care homes, more people at the end-of-life stage will die in their home, as opposed to being transferred to hospital or a hospice.
Going through the end-of-life process in their home, surrounded by their loved ones and their own belongings, has a positive impact on a dying person’s emotional well-being, Carstairs says.
She adds that long-term care providers can learn from organizations like OMNI that have palliative-care teams in their homes.
“You cannot train every single (staff member), so what you’ve got to do is have a dedicated team of palliative-care people who can make sure that what is happening at the bedside of the dying person is the appropriate form of care,” she says.
“If those people are being appropriately cared for in long-term care facilities, then they’re not a drain on the hospice system, they’re not a drain on the acute-care bed system — they are being (given) appropriate care, in the appropriate setting at the appropriate cost.”
Carstairs’ Thursday-night speech comes ahead of her presentation at an education day focused on hospice palliative care being held tonight (Oct. 19) at Peterborough Golf and Country Club, where she is expected to address about 100 people.
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