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PMH Palliative Care Team Helps Colour the World of Patients and Families

May 2022

The PMH Palliative Care team is recognizing National Hospice Palliative Care Week (May 1-7, 2022).  Let’s celebrate the amazing work that palliative care does to empower clients and families to Live in Colour.

Palliative Care is a commitment to whole person care that helps to relieve suffering and improve the quality of life for those who have a life limiting illness that cannot be cured.  Clinical resource nurse, Jenna Zurba, states “we are privileged to work with patients and families during some of the greyer times of their life; I feel very fortunate to offer support that allows opportunities for flickers of colour during a very difficult time”.

Palliative care helps clients and families with physical care, emotional needs, pain and symptom management, spiritual care, cultural needs and end of life planning. Just as there is more to life than physical health, there is more to palliative care than pain and symptom management. Palliative care recognizes that life is created and coloured by experiences, relationships, adventures and, most importantly, love.  Clinical resource nurse, Charla Murray, describes “Our clients and families have different emotions throughout their journey, they are a colour wheel with different shades, tints and brightness. Palliative Care supports these colours in becoming a work of art”.

At the heart of palliative care lies the belief that every person deserves a vibrant and beautiful life, from beginning to end. Palliative care can be delivered in a variety of settings including at home, personal care homes, acute care facilities and the BRHC palliative care unit. Palliative care strives to honour the wishes of clients and families by supporting their unique wishes for end of life. Clinical resource nurse, Brenda Smith, states “I consider it a tremendous honor when a client and their loved ones allow me to be part of their circle.  Even though death will be the outcome of their journey, I feel very fortunate to be part of their support system and help them leave this world with dignity and comfort”.

Palliative care is a coordinated team approach, with a variety of support services available to assist clients and families. Physicians, nurses, home care, volunteers, community supports and others come together to support the client and family.  The invaluable work of health care workers, volunteers and carers of every stripe is crucial to the well being and quality of life for those who receive palliative care.  Palliative Care Volunteer and Bereavement Coordinator, Carla Mitchell, states “In my role, I am privileged to support the PMH palliative care volunteer groups.  Palliative care volunteers are splashes of colour who provide kindness, compassion and support to help clients live with vibrancy and meaning”.

Palliative care is offered as a complementary, no-cost, service in the Prairie Mountain Health Region. You, your family, your physician or any other healthcare provider can make a referral to Palliative Care.  Palliative Care Coordinator, Melissa Peters, states “I feel like my job is working in a kaleidoscope of colour.  A kaleidoscope is, by definition, colours of constantly changing patterns and mixtures. We use many patterns to organize, advocate, support and plan for our clients to live the most colourful life possible”.

During National Hospice Palliative Care Week, the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association, thanks each person involved in palliative care for their compassion and dedication – the impact of your work is felt by individuals, families, loved ones and communities.

To learn more about palliative care visit the PMH website.

Submitted by Carla Mitchell, Palliative Care Volunteer and Bereavement Coordinator

Palliative Care Nurses r