​​​ Image of Hospice Palliative Care directory​​​​​​
​The Hospice Palliative Care (HPC) directory app is an interactive map that allows the user to search for information on hospice and palliative care services near them. (Photo: UHN)​

 

Being diagnosed with a life-limiting illness is an overwhelming experience for patients, families and care givers. Support from trained staff and access to useful resources can help ease the process and begin the planning element early.

The palliative care team's goal at UHN is to prevent and ease suffering, due to pain or any other symptoms. This can be helpful at any point during an illness, and not only at the end of a person's life.​

This care includes:

  • Pain and symptom management
  • Psychosocial and spiritual support
  • Referral to (and collaboration with) home nursing and palliative care services
  • Advance care planning
  • End-of-life care
  •  

    The palliative care team provides services across these UHN sites:

    Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

    Palliative Care Clinic – The team sees outpatients in four clinic settings across the Princess Margaret. They proactively develop treatments and strategies to support patients and families.

    Palliative Care Inpatient Unit – The unit is on the 16th floor of the Princess Margaret hospital in the Harold and Shirley Lederman Palliative Care Centre. They also partner with Kensington Hospice, a home-like community hospice providing compassionate end-of-life care for people who wish to live in a residential setting but are unable to live at home.

    Toronto Rehab

    Located at Toronto Rehab's Bickle Centre for Complex Continuing Care, the Palliative Care Service provides a home-like environment to make individuals and families as comfortable as possible. 

    Toronto General Hospital

    There are three clinics at Toronto General specifically dedicated to caring for palliative patients:

  • Pulmonary Hypertension Palliative Care Clinic
  • Supportive Care in Heart Failure Clinic
  • Transplant Palliative Care Clinic
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    Toronto Western Hospital

    Movement Disorders Clinic: Palliative Care Program – The program is for patients with Parkinson's disease and their families to help manage the symptoms of the disease and the changes it brings to life at home.

     

    Resources at UHN

    There are a variety of resources at UHN patients and families can access to make informed decisions about their care and get support.

    Hospice Palliative Care Directory

    The team at Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care launched a new app in September 2014 to help families and healthcare providers access timely and accurate information on hospice and palliative care services across Ontario. The Hospice Palliative Care (HPC) directory app is an interactive map that allows the user to search by address, city, or postal code and results can be limited to a certain geographic distance. A detailed view of each setting shows the address, phone, and fax numbers and links to other important details.

    For more information and an interactive look at the tool, click here

    Distress Assessment and Response Tool (DART)

    All cancer patients that have a clinic visit at the Princess Margaret complete DART screening on an iPad or computer before their appointment begins. DART is a review of your overall health, well-being and symptoms. DART asks you questions and assesses your experiences as a patient in areas such as, common physical symptoms, practical concerns, and emotional concerns. Your responses are then shared with your healthcare team.

    Managing Cancer and Living Meaningfully (CALM)

    CALM is a psychosocial intervention developed by Drs. Gary Rodin, Department Head, and Sarah Hales, Coordinator of Psychiatry Services in the Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care (POPC), at the Princess Margaret. The goal is to help patients with life-threatening cancer, and their caregivers, manage the practical and profound problems associated with advanced disease. CALM consists of six individual sessions over a three to six-month period with specially trained therapists drawn from a variety of disciplines.

    In addition to these resources, UHN's patient education materials can provide information on bereavement, helping children cope with a loved one's illness, and what to expect in the last days of life.

    For this information, as well as provincial and national resources for advance care planning, community care and financial planning, visit our Palliative Care page.

     

    Keeping the discussion going

    We began the conversation a week ago.

    But even though our UHN News series of stories on end-of-life care has drawn to a close, discussion on the topic will go on.

    We've heard from patients, families, caregivers and experts on a topic that is very difficult for many people to address.

    We hope it's been informative, engaging and provocative. Most of all, we hope it's made you want to talk.

    For a recap of the series, please follow the timeline below.​

     

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