Get better informed about palliative care

The All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care (AIIHPC) is calling on people in Mayo to learn more about the benefits of palliative care as part of Palliative Care Week.

Now in its seventh year, Palliative Care Week takes place from September 13 to 19 and aims to raise awareness throughout the island of Ireland about the positive difference palliative care can make to people with life-limiting conditions, their carers and their families.

This year’s theme is ‘Palliative Care: In This Together’. In these extraordinary times, this reflects the community response to Covid-19 but also the range of supports mobilized by health and social care professionals, and the wider community, to help people with palliative care needs and their loved ones to live as well as possible.

This personalised network of support can involve a broad range of professionals, from primary care (such as GPs and public health nurses) to family, friends and the wider community, and support at home, in hospitals, nursing homes and hospices. The support is for all ages and life-limiting conditions, and can be for days, weeks or years.

Karen Charnley, AIIHPC director, said: “Palliative care improves the lives of those living with a life-limiting illness and those who matter to them. It puts the individual at the centre of care and supports their physical, social, psychological and spiritual health needs.

“We’ve all seen this year how something like Covid-19 has brought out the best in people, especially in our communities, and while we can’t hold events to mark Palliative Care Week 2020, we hope we can reignite some of that community spirit to help those closest to us to get better informed about palliative care and its benefits.

“Ultimately, we want as many people as possible in Mayo to have a greater understanding of palliative care. So if people can help by sharing this knowledge or the Palliative Care Week leaflet or even by sharing their story on social media, together we can help to remove any stigmas or misconceptions about palliative care.

“We might need to remain socially distant for some time to come but we can still feel close to our family and friends by having conversations about things like palliative care and understanding each other’s future care wishes.”

Visit thepalliativehub.com/public-awareness to find out more about palliative care and Palliative Care Week 2020. Any groups or individuals wishing to obtain leaflets and/or posters for Palliative Care Week 2020 can contact AIIHPC on (01) 4912948 or info@aiihpc.org.

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