It’s National Hospice Palliative Care Week, and we’re busting myths!
There are many myths surrounding death, dying and grief. Maybe it’s because open and frank discussions about these topics generally aren’t part of everyday conversations. Maybe, like other types of legends, it takes a direct approach to reveal the truth.
So, let’s take a candid look at of one of the most hopeful myths:
“Hospice palliative care is just for seniors.”
How is this hopeful? It’s a reflection that only the elderly die; it also denies the possibility that death occurs for young adults and children, as well. The statement holds a mirror to our cultural belief that no parent should bury their child – but sometimes, we do.
Here’s what the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association says about this myth:
“Hospice palliative care is provided to people of all ages – from infancy to adulthood. As a matter of fact, Canada has six hospices dedicated to pediatric palliative care. Adults in their prime also die, and we need to ensure that them and their families are properly supported and prepared for the end-of-life, no matter their age.
Some supporting statistics:
- Pediatric palliative care programs in Canada care for a diverse population of patients with a wide range of age and disease conditions. Only a small percentage of children who die, however, receive services from these dedicated programs.” (http://www.chpca.net/news-and-events/national-hospice-palliative-care-week.aspx)”
It’s a sad truth, but it’s true -hospice palliative care exists for people of all ages.
Does it matter that this myth is busted? Yes.
When we know that hospice palliative care is available to people of all ages, we’re more likely to consider accessing its compassionate philosophy and treatment guidelines regardless of an individual’s age.