Palliative care should be accessible to all, regardless of health, social or socioeconomic status. However, our Canadian care delivery model was developed with certain assumptions about the people receiving care; assumptions such as the care recipient has stable and secure housing, an informal support network (family and friends), a relatively predictable disease trajectory, the mobility to access their health care teams, the ability to communicate without language barriers to their health care provider team such things as pain, values, hopes and wishes. These are just some of the barriers facing special populations in Canada, and the list only gets at a small number of the issues they face.
Many vulnerable or underserviced populations don’t get referred to palliative care, or do not get referred early enough that it can make a difference while they are alive.
We are interested in new and original solutions to increase access to palliative care in underserved areas, and for special populations that may be particularly vulnerable. Please share examples of how you have/your organization has bridged gaps for people with life-threatening illnesses and their families.
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