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Palliative Care Week 2022: Living as well as possible


Specialist Palliative Care Team, Omagh Hospital

We are supporting the 9th annual Palliative Care Week, which is to be held from 11-17 September 2022.

Palliative Care Week is facilitated by the All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care (AIIHPC), with the theme this year being “Palliative Care: Living as well as possible.

The AIIHPC is a leading organisation representing hospices, health and social care organisations and universities on the island of Ireland with national and international influence driving excellence in palliative care. The aim of Palliative Care Week is to raise awareness of the difference palliative care can make to people with life-limiting conditions, carers and families throughout the island of Ireland.

Palliative Care Week takes place across the island of Ireland from Sunday 11th to Saturday 17th September, all aimed at turning the spotlight onto palliative care and raising awareness of the difference palliative care can make to people with life-limiting conditions, carers and families throughout the island of Ireland.

Misunderstanding about palliative care persists, meaning some people who could benefit are less willing to seek it, potentially missing out on improved quality of life.

Bernie McCafferty, Interim Assistant Director for Intermediate Care and Rehabilitation, Western Trust said: “This year’s theme ‘Palliative Care: Living as well as possible will raise awareness of the wide range of supports which can be mobilised by health and social care professionals, to help people with palliative care needs and their loved ones to live as well as possible. The launch of the new Palliative Care Keyworker Information Leaflet and short video as part of Palliative Care Week will help us raise awareness for staff and the public. This also supports one of our regional priorities for palliative and end of life care in the keyworker role and demonstrates clearly how the Western Trust and our community nurses along with a multi-dsicplinary team are taking great strides to improve the experience of patients and their families with palliative care and end of life care needs.”

“People with palliative care needs are being supported by the whole community beyond formal health and social care services. A personalised network of support can involve a broad range of professionals from primary care (such as GP’s and District Nurses), family and friends and the wider community, supporting a person whether they are at home, in hospital, in a nursing home or hospice.”

“We want people to have a better understanding of palliative care, so if the need arises for themselves or someone close to them, they will feel able to discuss it with their loved ones and health professionals. We would encourage the members of our community to speak with their GP or any other healthcare professional if you think palliative care could help you or someone you love.”

Palliative Care Week 2022 will include a series of face to face and online information sessions and webinars, aimed at professionals, carers and indeed palliative care patients covering a wide range of topics.

Emma King, Macmillian Specialist Palliative Care Team Manager with the Western Trust said: “We are delighted to launch a new Palliative Care Keyworker Information Leaflet and a short video to explain the aim and function of the leaflet and the role of the District Nurse in delivering palliative care. We are very grateful to our multi-disciplinary team and GP colleagues for their input and to patient Mary King for kindly agreeing to take part in promoting this important service. This will help to raise awareness and celebrates how our district nurses as keyworkers are making a difference to living well and playing a key role in delivering palliative care in the community. Thank you all for your support.”

Emma continued: “So often, people think that palliative care is only available at end of life, but it can benefit people at all stages of illness, and people of all ages. It can be provided for years, with some people having long periods of being well, moving in and out of palliative care services, depending on their needs at that particular point in time.

“It improves the quality of life of family carers as well as the quality of life of the person with palliative care needs, and can be received in a hospice/specialist palliative care unit, a hospital, nursing home or at the person’s own home, again depending on the needs of the individual.

“For us, Palliative Care Week is about showing people that palliative care is about more than just end of life care, and indeed more than just treating physical symptoms. It’s about caring for the emotional, social and spiritual needs of the person and those important to them, hopefully making things that little bit easier.”