Presented by: Alissa Tedesco, Naheed Dosani
Persons who live in homelessness face high morbidity and mortality, and often have end-of-life concerns that are distinct from the general population. Despite their complex needs, homeless persons have poor access to quality palliative care. In order to address this, interventions need to be comprehensive, flexible and creative. The Three Wishes Study, developed for dying patients in an intensive care unit, shows promise in being adapted to this population. Inspired by Three Wishes, the Good Wishes Project facilitates granting wishes to patients who are living in homelessness nearing end-of-life. The project is a partnership between the Inner City Health Associates’ PEACH (Palliative Education and Care for the Homeless) program and the Good Neighbours Club funded by the Sovereign Order of St. John. Good Wishes aims to personalize the end-of-life experience for homeless individuals and enhance their provider’s ability to deliver dignity-centered care. The main objective of this study is to determine the challenges, successes and differences in adapting the Three Wishes Study to this population. This will be investigated with a mixed methods approach. Semi-structured interviews will be conducted with a variety of health and social service professionals in shared care with the PEACH program in Toronto, ON. Interviews will be recorded, transcribed verbatim and analyzed thematically. Providers will also be surveyed, and data analyzed using descriptive statistics. We anticipate that the Good Wishes Project will be a novel intervention in addressing the gap in palliative care for homeless individuals, whose lives have largely been burdened with hardship and marginalization.