Facing the ultimate death of a loved one is a daunting task, and it’s been difficult to find the necessary resources locally to cope with this kind of situation.
Last Friday (Sept. 12) marked the launch of a new program in the district which will ensure that seamless, integrated life care will be available to individuals and their families living in Emo and the surrounding area.
The committee that initiated and developed this program held a luncheon and open house at Knox United Church in Emo to introduce the program and explain what it will mean for district families.
The “End of Life Care” program has five aims, with the first being to improve or maintain quality of life at a time when curing the individual no longer is the primary goal.
It also aims to relieve the suffering and control the pain and other symptoms being experienced by the individual, as well as address the physical, emotional, spiritual, social, and cultural needs of the individual and their family.
“End of Life Care” is a team approach that encompasses the individual, family, caregivers, and community in its scope.
The concept of improving end-of-life care began with the announcement by the Ontario government that it would provide money to local health organizations to develop programs to meet the needs of their local communities.
It took the dedication, hard work, and creativity of many local health and service providers, however, to bring this plan to fruition.
Interested individuals met every month for more than a year to create a program that would co-ordinate the resources that already were being offered in the district by improving the collaboration and co-operation amongst care providers.
Their goal was to create a system that would build a better partnership between the Community Care Access Centre, hospital, long-term care, local physicians, pharmacies, and community care agencies such as nursing, personal support, therapy services, and volunteer organizations.
On Friday, the committee proudly announced it had reached its goal.
“We haven’t had any enquiries yet but everything is in place and we are definitely ready to put our new program into action,” enthused program co-ordinator Wilma Sletmoen.
The point stressed at Friday’s luncheon is that people in the Emo area no longer have to feel isolated or alone. There is no need for anyone to deal with the stress of the situation by themselves.
The health and service providers who are part of the new program are professionals available to provide co-ordinated, comprehensive, and compassionate care to the individuals and their families living with end-stage illness.