Health Education Spotlight Series: Focus #2: Palliative Care

As healthcare providers (HCPs) one of our roles includes patient & family education. This is vital in palliative care as a common barrier to its initiation can often be due to a lack of knowledge. Families and patients sometimes misunderstand that palliative care is only for those who are actively dying and may not be aware of the many benefits of palliative care at any point in their life-limiting illness. 

HPCs need to offer education to patients & families to help them understand what palliative care is and its many benefits. To do this, it is important to be aware of resources to support patient and family education. One useful resource is the Canadian Virtual Hospice: What is Palliative Care? page, which has information on the four Ws (what, when, who & where) of palliative care. Other palliative care resources for patients and families include:

Health Quality Ontario highlights many palliative care topics to cover for patient and family education, such as, symptom management, grief/loss, coping strategies, community resources, system navigation, patient rights, decision-making, medication, practical and physical care, death/dying, vigil practices and care after death. Resources that could be useful in aiding patient and family education on these topics include:

  • Hospice Palliative Care Ontario A useful resource for patients and families that provides information on many palliative care topics and direction on access to services.
  • Canadian Virtual Hospice Information and support for loss & grief and palliative & end of life care.
    • life Education and supports for parents of seriously ill children and those who are experiencing pregnancy or infant loss.
  • HPC Consultation Services Information on caregiver guides and resources.
  • Hospice Waterloo Region Information on available regional supports (community & residential) in the Waterloo Region.
  • Hospice Wellington  Information on available regional supports (community & residential) in the Guelph and Wellington County area.


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