About Palliative Care For All
Palliative care is relevant and applicable to all life-limiting illness but has not traditionally have been associated with diseases other than cancer.
The need for palliative care to be extended to people with diseases such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD), Heart Failure and Dementia is increasingly acknowledged. However, there has been an overall lack of direction when it comes to providing palliative care within existing disease management frameworks for people with these and other life limiting illnesses.
The Irish Hospice Foundation’s Palliative Care for All Programme provides support, direction and guidance to those working with patients to incorporate palliative care principles in care.
Background to Palliative Care for All
The Palliative Care for All programme emerged from a joint study, Extending Access, completed by the IHF and the HSE in 2008. With an initial emphasis on dementia, COPD and heart failure, it examined the palliative care needs of people with life-limiting illnesses other than cancer to identify how palliative care could be applied to these patient groups in Ireland. Download the full report (2008) HERE or the shorter ‘Palliative Care For All – Key Messages (PDF booklet).
Action research & other initiatives
The Palliative Care for All report highlighted that palliative care principles need to be embedded within ALL disease frameworks. The following initiatives have taken place or are under way:
- Action research/development projects supporting the introduction of a palliative approach in the management of heart failure; advanced respiratory disease; Advancing neurological illness and for those with dementia. More on the action research projects:
- Exploratory work with patient advocacy and voluntary groups such as the Alzheimer Society of Ireland on ways to introduce palliative care principles for constituents.
- A paper by the Cystic Fibrosis Association of Ireland and Irish Hospice Foundation on end-of-life care for CF patients – available here
- IHF”s Nurses for Night Care service which is available for people with diseases other than cancer who wish to die at home. IHF provides funding to the Irish Cancer Society to extend its night nursing service to patients with other life-limiting conditions
- Initiation of discussion on the palliative care needs of vulnerable sections of society, such as those with learning difficulties, mental health issues and the homeless