The Palliative Care Approach

There are three key principles that drive the palliative care approach and Pallium Canada’s work:

  1. Different needs, different levels of care
  2. Better early than late
  3. Everyone has a part to play

Different needs, different levels of care

Different levels of palliative care services are required because patient needs and the level of complexity are different — calling for different levels of expertise and intensity of care across their illness trajectories.

Better early than late

Everyone has a part to play

Improving palliative care in Canada is everyone’s business, not just the responsibility of a small number of palliative care specialist physicians and nurses. Every community has the potential to transform our society into a skilled, informed and compassionate one with respect to palliative care.

Critical Role of Community Engagement

To support the palliative care approach, community members (in addition to medical professionals) need to be included in the continuum of care. The addition of community members helps to create a wrap-around effect to better support the patient and family dealing with a diagnosis pertaining to a life-limiting and/or life-threatening illness.

Continuum of Compassionate Care

Compassionate Communities Model

Compassionate Communities treat palliative and end-of-life care as the responsibility of the community and health services, and create partnerships between the two to resolve issues as they relate to: lack of supportive services, understand how to access services and lack of real integration of care.

The Compassionate City Charter framework by Professor Allan Kellehear, is seen as a tool we can use to spread the Compassionate Communities model across Canada. The charter highlights the need for social changes in 13 key areas within a community, to support the idea that care for one another during times of crisis—caregiving, dying, and grieving—is everyone’s business.