Reflections from Ontario

Ted and I have been travelling for the past week and have packed a lot into a short period of time!

We attended the PSNO PSW Conference 2014 in Markham, ON on October 21st. It was wonderful to meet 300+ personal support workers! One PSW, Derek, spoke about his work in hospice palliative care and highlighted some of the challenges. What stood out me was his emphasis on the value of team.

A big thank you to the PSW’s who stayed for the closing plenary. I know you were tired after attending for the entire day. I appreciate being able to tribute you and reflect on my learnings in HPC.

Next was the OCSA Annual Conference on October 22nd and 23rd.  Harry van Bommel, M.Ad.Ed., CTDP, spoke on Putting the ‘Care’ Back into Healthcare. Mr. van Bommel has developed resources to help people navigate and negotiate the system and these resources can be used and adapted to people’s local areas. He is as warm and as kind as when I met him in 1992 after the CHPCA conference in Winnipeg (my first HPC conference). I had the pleasure of meeting with Kathy Duncan from PalCare Network.  They have regular courses they offer in Newmarket, ON and an extensive library of palliative care books, manuals and journals available for loan. They also have a special conference coming up in March 2015 for PSW’s and community members that sounds fabulous, so if you’re in that area you may want to contact them to find out more information.

In the morning I met a beautiful woman named Jenny from Thunder Bay. She spoke about her work with such joy. Then she talked of the challenges and violence that has been happening in her community.  Within an hour she came to our table and told us about the shootings f the soldier in Ottawa.

As the day progressed and the story unfolded, my heart went out to those who mourn the death of Nathan. And along with other Canadians I share the collective sorrow that comes with witnessing violence born in mental illness.

Next up is Niagara Falls, Ottawa and then the OLTCA Fall Symposium in Markham which we’re really looking forward to.

 

Coming out of hiding!

The last two and a half months I have been retreating… time with siblings from Denmark, Australia and Vancouver, time on the water, time in the water, and a lot of time writing!

The new text, “Integrating a Palliative Approach: Essentials for Personal Support Workers” is just about to go to the press. We are thrilled. By the middle of October it should be up on Amazon and available to order.  Thanks to all who have participated, shared stories, contributed to the research, provided your expert opinions!

It is incredible to see the beautiful illustrations by Joanne Thomson. In this illustration, the comfort basket shows a few of the comfort measures that a personal care provider can use to help people feel more comfortable.

Basket of Comfort Measures.jpg

My basket of comfort measures

What are your favorite things to put into your comfort basket? What are you hoping will be in a comfort basket when you are dying?

Next week I head to Montreal for the International Congress on Care of the Terminally Ill. I am so looking forward to rubbing shoulders with health care professionals from around the world, and being taught by some of the greatest practitioners and researchers. If you are attending, email me and let’s try and connect.

Warm regards,

Kath

Annual Party to Celebrate Home Care Workers!

This is the third annual party to pay tribute to Home Care Workers and the fabulous job that they do!!!

October 18th, 1-4, Chartwell Ross Place Retirement Residence, 2638 Ross Lane Victoria, BC

RSVP – 250.381.8666

Thanks especially to Kathy Ajas, Barb Hopkins and the core planning committee for making this happen yet again!

We are delighted to be joined this year by Sarina Corsi from the HCA Registry.

Lunch is provided and door prizes are coming in!

Come, Celebrate and BE Celebrated! This is your special day! Door prizes, massages, free lunch, and opportunity to network and socialize! 

Please forward this to any Home Care Workers you know… (Yes, this includes those Health Care Assistants working in Residential Care)

Warmest regards,

Kath