Free education for PSWs, but at what cost?

The Ontario government plans to train 6000 to 8,000 new PSWs by December 2021, offering free tuition, textbooks and a paid practicum. Given the devastating effects of COVID in Ontario LTC facilities, increasing the work force will help to ensure that all older adults receive excellent care. This funding will undoubtedly help people to enter the PSW […]

Grief during COVID

In an article titled, “There is no vaccine for grief” Maxine Rattner and Marney Thompson write, “While grief itself isn’t a mental-health condition, unsupported grief can turn into one, such as depression and suicidal thinking. And due to the circumstances of COVID, the risk is far higher that grief won’t be supported.”    Andrea Warnick, an educator, […]

How do you infuse love in your organization?

Several years ago I was inspired as I read writings from Stephen Post and Thomas Kitwood defining love in dementia care. “Love within the context of dementia care includes comfort in the original sense of tenderness, closeness, the calming of anxiety and bonding.” (Kitwood, 2003) “Altruistic love involves both a judgement of worth, and a […]

And a time to cry….

  I wrote this reflection on Jan 31 ,2020, a year and a week after our son Geordie died, At this one year mark, I #GIVETHANKS for family, friends and colleagues who supported and encouraged us, buoyed us up, laughed and cried with us, mourned with us, and comforted us. They are all excellent examples […]

Sharing gifts

Hello and welcome to December! In the past months, summer and camping came to an end and the 2nd wave of the COVID-19 pandemic flourished. We are being asked to commit once more to physically distancing ourselves from those outside of our households. This is a difficult time that we all share. Globally people are [...]

Addressing barriers to providing optimal end-of-life care

Physicians providing care in the community and long term care (LTC) facilities in Alberta, Canada, were interviewed to determine what they perceived as barriers and facilitators to providing optimal end-of-life care.1 Among their concerns, they reported motivational barriers related to families, citing the family’s lack of knowledge about frailty, unrealistic care expectations and expressions of […]

Comfort Basket For The Caregiver

In the palliative care books, Integrating a Palliative Approach: Essentials for Personal Support Workers, and Essentials in Hospice and Palliative Care: A Practical Resource for Every Nurse, I use the image of a comfort basket to refer to non-pharmacological (non-medicinal) items that can help promote comfort and provide support when caring for a person who […]

COVID-19 resource: Recognizing difficult breathing and strategies for supporting comfort

One of the challenges health care providers are facing with COVID-19 is managing breathlessness or shortness of breath in infected patients. For some caregivers and health care professionals, it may not be logical to consider applying palliative care principles and practices for managing difficult breathing when supporting people with breathlessness due to COVID-19. Know that [...]

Preparing for COVID-19 because it IS personal

The COVID-19 virus is coming to a home nearby. How near? And how serious? Even if the curve is flattened, the reality is that people will get sick, and people will die. The deaths could include me or Ted. That is a reality. This morning my dear colleague Elizabeth Dougherty shared an EXCELLENT article, This […]

COVID-19 – living with and facing death

The COVID-19 virus is coming to a home nearby. How near? And how serious? Even if the curve is flattened, the reality is that people will get sick, and people will die. The deaths could include me. That is a reality. This morning my dear colleague Elizabeth Dougherty shared an EXCELLENT article, This Pandemic is […]