Palliative Care Week 2018 begins on Sunday 9th September and in our blog this week, Brendan O’Hara from the All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care explains why it is so important to raise people’s awareness and understanding of palliative care.
This Sunday marks the beginning of Palliative Care Week; an annual campaign facilitated by All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care which runs this year from 9 to 15 September.
This time around our theme is ‘Palliative Care, Because Every Moment Matters’.
Palliative care focuses on helping a person, of any age, with a life-limiting illness, to achieve the best quality of life. It involves the management of pain and other symptoms and provides support for social, emotional and spiritual needs.
This care is for people with serious and progressive conditions, such as motor neurone disease, MS, dementia, advanced kidney disease or advanced lung disease, as well as advanced cancer and advanced heart disease.
Through our Palliative Care Week campaign, we want to encourage people to talk about palliative care; about what matters to them, and to receive help to give them a better quality of life.
This year marks the centenary of the birth of Dame Cicely Saunders, a palliative care pioneer. Our theme resonates with Dame Cicely’s iconic quote: “You matter because you are you and you matter until the end of your life.”
Our awareness campaign is aimed at both the public and health and social care professionals. We are encouraging everyone to begin a conversation about a topic often considered too difficult and too frightening to discuss, the reality of living with a life-limiting illness. We want people to talk about what matters to them, and to receive help to give them a better quality of life.
Palliative Care Week will be formally launched on Monday 10 September with events in Belfast City Hall and The Mansion House in Dublin.
Our campaign this year will benefit from people talking about their experiences of palliative care. A total of eight short videos have been produced, with participants from across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, from Belfast, Derry/Londonderry, Dublin, Cork and Galway. The videos will be launched during Palliative Care Week and will be available at www.thepalliativehub.com
If you would like to find out more and/or get involved in promoting positive messages about what palliative care can offer to people who need it, their families/carers and the wider community, please see our resources here. The Palliative Care Week leaflet can be viewed here.
Please also get involved through your social media channels; visit AIIHPC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @AIIHPC and use #pallcareweek for the campaign.