When you hear the word ‘palliative care’ what comes to mind? It is a strange word that has a great deal of stigmatism. Senior illness may often lead to the need for palliative care so it should be considered a very natural part of life. Yet we don’t like to talk about it.
So what do we do as a society with senior illness that may lead to needing support?
We need to figure out a way to make it easier to talk about this stuff. If you told me that I would one day need ‘palliative care’ without a doubt, then perhaps I should be thinking about I want that to look like. But many of us (including myself) perhaps are in denial that that may ever happen.
Truth be told, many North Americans will end up in some sort of palliative care. So wouldn’t it be better if we acknowledged that and expressed our wishes. What do we want those days to like? For ourselves? For our families? Senior illness happens more often than not so we are kidding ourselves if we think we will never fall ill and never need palliative care. People are living much longer now which is amazing but it also opens up the window for palliative care to be needed.
So let’s talk about and let’s make some decisions now while we can.
The original article talks about changing the name to ‘supportive care’ and we agree. There are so many negative feelings around the word ‘palliative’, that perhaps a name change would help. Palliative care is truly a type of supportive care and most of us at some point in our lives have needed some kind of support, right? Maybe emotional support, financial support or physical support. So when senior illness arrives, needing support shouldn’t be too much of a concern.
So let’s start thinking in positive terms and call it supportive care. See original article for more insights https://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2016/08/30/first-step-to-improving-palliative-care-change-its-name.html