A nationwide campaign to highlight how palliative care can improve the quality of life of any person with an incurable illness, has been announced.
The campaign Making the most of life will take place during the first-ever Palliative Care Week from. It is an all-island campaign and being coordinated by the All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care (AIIHPC).
The Minister for Primary Care, Social Care and Mental Health Kathleen Lynch said: “I warmly welcome the first-ever all-island Palliative Care Week as an opportunity to encourage new conversations among patients, carers, families and health and social care professionals about how a palliative care approach benefits a person with an incurable illness as well as their family and carers.”
The campaign aims to change the common public perception that palliative care is about pain relief for older people during the final days of life, to an understanding that including a palliative care approach, as part of a medical care plan, helps to achieve the best possible quality of life for a person with an incurable condition.
AIIHPC Director Paddie Blaney said: “A palliative care approach looks at much more than medical need. It seeks to care for all aspects of the person - mind, body and spiritual.
“It is beneficial for anyone with a non-curable illness, regardless of age or condition and also supports their family, friends and carers both during an illness and afterwards.
“For the very best outcomes palliative care starts as early as possible and is suitable for a number of years, not just the weeks and days at the end of life.”
The campaign is being supported by the patient group Voices4Care member and advocate Carmel Geoghegan whose mother received palliative care: “Palliative care enables people to enjoy a better quality of life and when faced with an incurable illness. It was a great comfort for my Mum and our extended family and friends to have that special time”, she said.
The campaign is being supported by the Department of Health, HSE and providers of hospice and palliative care across the country, as well as all health agencies in Northern Ireland.
Many information events will take place across the country during Palliative Care Week, as well as newspaper, radio and online adverts. More information will be at www.palliativecareweek.com
Ronan Cavanagh, Cavanagh Communications: (086) 317 9731.