Author: Natingor, Angie
There is an increasing desire amongst Canada’s elderly to be supported to die at home. Families are vital in ensuring this, yet policies focused on end-of-life care do not address how to meet their needs. This study explores why informal family caregivers in British Columbia have inadequate access to end-of-life care resources, and proposes solutions to address problematic issues. A discourse analysis of provincial end-of-life policies, case studies of practice within the local health area of Vancouver-City Centre, and interviews with informal caregivers identified key problem areas. Four policy options for government consideration were designed and evaluated: increasing the availability and extent of publicly funded formal home support; providing a single point of contact; increasing the frequency and reach of family meetings; and creating local, community-based services. Providing a single point of contact for families and seniors, such as a patient navigator, is recommended as one approach to better assist informal caregivers in providing end-of-life care at home.
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