FAQs about Palliative Care in Hospital
*all info is subject to Northern Health and BC Centre for Disease Control guidelines
Palliative Care is offered to a person whose disease is no longer curable. It is not offered with the intent to speed up or delay death. Palliative care aims to comfort the patient and family by addressing physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and informational needs. The Northern Health Palliative Care Program supports the health care team to help patients enjoy the best quality of life until death.
My loved one is in the hospital and seems very sick. What do you mean by Palliative Care?
Palliative care focuses on comfort, quality of life, maintaining dignity, and respect for personal health decisions, not curative care for a person with a life limiting illnesses. Palliative care provides physical and emotional support for patients and their families, and can be provided alongside active treatment not considered curative.
If my loved one is declared palliative, does that mean he has less bloodwork and medical tests?
Generally, yes, though a physician may order tests and bloodwork if required to help maintain a quality of life for as long as possible for a patient.
Can I visit my loved one anytime? Can I stay overnight?
Yes. Nursing staff will make every effort to accommodate one person to stat overnight with a palliative patient.
Can I get a meal so I don't have to leave my loved one to get food?
Unfortunately, no. Meals are provided to patients only. The hospital does offer a fridge for palliative patient families to store food, as well as a microwave, coffeemaker, and toaster.
Can I have a shower in the room?
Shower facilities are only available for patients only at the hospital.
The hospital room seems cold. How can I remedy that?
Each room has adjustable thermostats. Warm blankets and additional bedding are also available from the nursing staff
Can I have access to the ice machine and warming cupboard?
The ice machine and warmings cupboards are only available to staff. If you need these items, just ask the nursing staff
My loved one has red spots on their hips and elbows. Do you have something to help with this?
Red spots on pressure points like elbows or hips, can occur near the end of life due to a limited ability to move and due to frail skin. Nursing staff will reposition a patient every 2-3 hours and specialized mattresses for palliative care patients are help reduce the pressure sore risk
Is there a team that helps with my loved one's care? Can I talk to this team?
The team caring for your loved one includes their physician, nurses, care aides, social workers, aboriginal support, and palliative care volunteers. Extra support can requested, such as a palliative care social worker, grief counsellors, and spiritual support. Consult the nursing staff or the Patient Care Coordinator
My loved one has a fear of dying. Can anyone talk to them about this?
There is a variety of health and social support services that can help. Talk to nursing staff about who you would like to talk to and they can connect you with that person.
My loved one was once involved with a church. Is there anyone they can talk to?
There are many spiritual leaders and clergymen of every faith in Quesnel. Talk to nursing staff or contact us to help you connect with them. Click on the butterfly for spiritual care resources in Quesnel
I can't come to the hospital all the time. Is there anyone who can keep my loved one company while I am not there?
We try tout best to provide comfort and company for your loved one. We can accommodate others you have designated to visit or stay during your absence. Palliative Care volunteers can also be requested by you or nursing staff to stay with you loved one while you are absent.
Can my loved one go outside if they want to?
Check with the Patient Care Coordinator or nursing staff. If there is a family member or designated visitor that can take them outside and return with them, generally this not a problem.
Can I bring personal things for my loved one?
Yes, your loved one can have personal items.
Will nursing staff assist with my loved one's care or am I expected to care for my loved one's personal needs?
Nursing staff will take care of your loved one's personal needs. Your assistance is welcome, but not required. You do what you feel comfortable doing.
Request a Palliative Care Volunteer