Presented by: Kyle Whitfield, Martin Labrie
Our study explored the value of a community engaged model for good hospice care in three rural communities in Alberta, Canada. When communities are highly engaged in planning and implementing hospice care in their communities, our study discovered that they have key characteristics: that volunteerism needs to be balanced to prevent burnout; that the local knowledge of community members is used in a number of ways to plan and provide good hospice care; that a variety of resources, infrastructure, policies and expertise are used by the community to nurture community-focused palliative care initiatives. The value to the community or social capital, that accrues from these initiatives is not easily appreciated by the community members, and community-based initiatives benefit when this value is identified for them. In all three communities a focus group was conducted separately with the Hospice Society board and with family members and volunteers connected with the Hospice Society. Participants attending this oral presentation will learn how community palliative care is perceived by non-professional community leaders, as well as strategies that may help address barriers that are encountered when communities become engaged in addressing their own hospice and end of life care needs.