Integrated Palliative Care PEI

Integrated Palliative Care PEI



homecare nurse Annamarie Lynch spends her day traveling around rural Pei today she's visiting with Heath Wall and his wife Fay Heath s terminal cancer and he and his family want him to be home and not in hospital for as long as he can Annamarie is their connection to an integrated health care team all specially trained to address the issues facing palliative patients and their families and for fay it came at just the right time he wanted to be home we want him home but we weren't managing the pain very well the whole team became the goal between us and our family doctor they could come in and sit and chat for an hour or two with us and get the whole picture and then she just took it away from me and came back with a solution that's how I that's how it felt to me anyway so our next client is Heath wall he's some our gentleman with CA the prostate and Mets to the bone back at Prince County Hospital in summer side Annamarie chairs the weekly rounds where she presents her patients ongoing issues this palliative team includes doctors nurses pharmacists social workers and spiritual advisors the program is based on the primary health care model meaning that the family physician and the primary homecare nurse are the people delivering the care for the client they're supported by a small clinical consult team that has enhanced training this integrated model makes the program unique and it's in place throughout Pei I think the team approach is the only approach that works we're never going to have enough people around to just do palliative care and provide that on a 24-hour basis if you ask people where they want to die 90 percent of them will tell you they want to die at home and in fact less than 10 percent of people are dying at home while most do want to be at home for as long as possible there are issues beyond medical treatment for the spouse or caregiver it can mean taking time off work to care for their loved one Pei is one of the nine provinces or territories that provides for compassionate care leave under which claimants may also qualify for six weeks of employee insurance benefits I need it to be home so I just went in to e I and I found a counselor or one of the girls there and I just told her my situation and she took it from me and she did it all for me so I was able to be home while Heath was sick but end-of-life care can also involve a number of very expensive drugs they are paid for while in hospital but aren't covered once a patient is at home unless they have private insurance or qualify under one of the provincial drug programs while most provinces do offer some form of extended catastrophic drug coverage for 600,000 Atlantic Canadians there's no coverage at all luckily for Fay her health plan at work covers the cost of drugs but she worries for others in the region I don't know what people do that don't have coverage I really don't or do maybe they end up in hospital where where it's covered I don't know I don't know what people do with the increasing pressure of an aging population the Health Council supports accelerated expansion of catastrophic drug coverage and more comprehensive palliative care programs nationwide so that those who do choose to die at home can without the financial burden do so with dignity and grace a big thing is to keep people home as far as I'm concerned now that I've experienced it to be able to keep people home it's the big thing because that's where we all want to be

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