palliative

Facilitating Pallium LEAP Courses

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In one of the parts of my life, I coordinate educational events for our local health authority.

These are courses in support of an integrated approach to Palliative Care.

Whoa! Jennifer, did you just say the word “palliative?”

Yes. It comes from a root word that means to offer comfort, to cover with a blanket, to bring comfort. Palliative is an amazing word and a great concept.

In my coordination role, I set up a number of Pallium LEAP Courses each month. I consider myself an adequate administrator. I like learning new things, connecting with people and helping them get some of the experiences they need to provide a good, generalist approach to Palliative Care. I like making spreadsheets that are more about people’s names than about numbers. I like supporting the teams in this province who want to support people as they live with chronic and life-limiting illnesses.

I also have had the opportunity to train to be a Pallium LEAP course facilitator. I consider myself a very good facilitator! A year ago this month, I started the process (you can read about it here if you like).

This past week I finished the certification to be a Facilitator for Pallium LEAP Courses. Hooray! Hooray! Hooray! I love these courses. I love the other Facilitators I get to work with. I love the way these courses blend group process and theory bursts. I love the kinds of people who are attracted to these courses.

Mostly, I love the opportunity to support something that means so much to me. An integrated, general approach to Palliative Care means good supportive care, pain and symptom management, from the time of the diagnosis of a chronic or life-threatening illness. It applies no matter how old or young a person is. All of this in addition to supportive end of life care. It means multi-disciplinary teams who help to care for physical bodies, minds, and spirits. It means attending to the whole person and to the support people (the family and friends and volunteers and medical staff) in the process of life as it changes. I think everyone deserves that!

I hope that people can have access to Specialist Palliative Care teams when they need them.

And I hope that building relationships and sharing education about how to provide good Palliative Care will allow people to access to Generalist Palliative Care the rest of the time.

I think that an integrated approach to Palliative Care makes a better community, a better world!

So, I am very excited that I get to be part of helping to share this education. And I’m very happy to be done the certification process. Thanks to all the helpers along the way!

Grateful for you, as always,

Jennifer

New connections

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A week ago today I was in Saskatoon.

It was cold, as February in Saskatchewan often is. The cold was only outside!

Almost 50 people from across the province met to take another step towards helping the people of Saskatchewan, near and far, have better access to a palliative approach to care.

Good, general skill in palliative care in all the communities and networks across our province will allow people with life limiting illnesses to be whole people -- body, mind, emotion and spirit -- and to have the supportive care they need.

And building the connections, providing the spaces for insight and education, means that good generalist palliative care providers in the communities (nurses, doctors, pharmacists, social workers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, spiritual care providers, care aids and all the others I didn't list) can have relationships with specialist palliative care teams for those times when there are questions  arise. For the times when symptoms of disease and distress are challenging to manage. 

A thousand thanks to Kim Martens and the rockstar team at Pallium Canada,

...and to Elisabeth Antifeau and Lori Teeple, Master Facilitators in name, heart and action,

...and to the waves of champions (new and experienced) for a palliative approach to care in Saskatchewan! 

Working alongside each one of you is a privilege.

Jennifer