End of life services expanded

British Columbians with terminal illnesses, their loved ones and caregivers now have access to after-hours support in their homes.

  • Apr. 12, 2012 1:00 p.m.

British Columbians with terminal illnesses, their loved ones and caregivers now have access to after-hours support in their homes with the expansion of the After-Hours Palliative Nursing Service.  The after-hours nursing telephone service will complement the existing supports available during the day for those nearing the end of their life, and their families.

The hours of operation are from 9 p.m. to 8 a.m. Pacific time, seven days a week. This service is available to those eligible to receive palliative care nursing services through the provincial home and community care program.

This service has been connecting patients with nurses in Fraser Health since 2005 and now palliative patients in every health authority will be able to pick up the phone anytime during the overnight hours and receive confidential information and support from specially trained registered nurses.  “Improving the Care of B.C. Seniors: An Action Plan” contains concrete actions to improve the lives of seniors, their families and caregivers, such as providing after-hours phone support to patients with terminal illnesses. This service helps seniors and their families access support for their care needs within their own community.

“Improving access to after-hours palliative tele-nursing support is just one of the commitments in our seniors’ action plan,” says Minister of Health Michael de Jong.

“In the coming months, we will continue to expand our efforts to support seniors, their families and caregivers.”

Ron Cantelon, parliamentary secretary for seniors to the Minister of Health, adds: “Understandably, most of us want to spend our final days in our own home surrounded by family and friends, whenever possible. Making this easier is what the expanded After-Hours Palliative Nursing Service is all about: enabling people to receive the comfort, love and support from those dearest to them in the familiar and reassuring setting of their own home.”

Williams Lake Tribune