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.
How can we raise awareness about palliative care for these populations in general so that families themselves can advocate for access?