Half of Canadians don’t even know what palliative care is

So why is it so important?

Half of Canadians don’t even know what palliative care isA researcher at the University of Alberta is helping to bridge a gap in Canadians’ knowledge about palliative care – and how to plan ahead for it. In a 2016 IPSOS public poll, half of Canadians surveyed said they were unfamiliar with the terms “palliative care” and “advance care planning.” “As patients and families with…

Wastewater from care homes could be COVID-19 early warning system

Wastewater samples from manholes near long-term care facilities being tested to detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2

Wastewater from care homes could be COVID-19 early warning systemUniversity of Alberta medical scientists are teaming up with public health officials, Edmonton’s drainage utility company and other collaborators to develop an early warning system for COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care homes. On Jan. 4, EPCOR began taking twice-weekly wastewater samples from manholes located at 10 Edmonton long-term care facilities, which are then tested by U of…

Covid-19 pokes the final hole in leaky long-term care boat

We cannot blame COVID-19 alone for the current LTC crisis, writes Shawn Whatley

Covid-19 pokes the final hole in leaky long-term care boatNursing homes struggled long before the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in Canada. Now, during the second wave, many front-line clinicians say our long-term care (LTC) system has all but collapsed. In the pre-COVID era, patients waited a median of 159 days to get a bed in Ontario, with some areas at 263 days. Thus, it was…

What happens when a hospice rejects medical assistance in dying?

‘This is about the B.C. government destroying a sanctuary for dying patients who want the choice to stay in a facility where MAID is not offered’

What happens when a hospice rejects medical assistance in dying?You might think the middle of a global pandemic is less than an ideal time to disrupt the operations of a hospice where palliative care patients receive comfort as they approach death. If so, you would not share the apparent thinking of the B.C. government or its local Fraser Health Authority, which is forcing layoffs…

Many questions will linger post-pandemic

Many questions will linger post-pandemicPandemics have a way of changing the world. The Plague of Justinian hit the Mediterranean area in the 500s, not only killing millions but crucially weakening the Byzantine Empire and helping ruin its plans to reconquer western Europe from the barbarians. The Black Death of the 1300s wiped out over 100 million people in Europe…

Despite the alarmism, Covid-19 is not the Black Death

Instead of focusing on a problem concentrated in our long-term care facilities, politicians have closed vast swaths of our economy

Despite the alarmism, Covid-19 is not the Black DeathDespite the relentless media drum-banging around the alarmist COVID-19 narrative, this virus is not the Black Death. Official numbers have the Canadian death count so far just over 14,000, bad for sure, but not hugely off the yearly flu toll in Canada that kills 6,500 to 8,000 people.  The average age of those people who…

Building quality of life into spaces for people with ‘invisible’ disabilities

Ensuring physical accessibility is only the beginning of creating places where people can ‘be who they are,’ says design consultant and PhD student Lara Pinchbeck

Building quality of life into spaces for people with ‘invisible’ disabilitiesWhen designing spaces for people living with disabilities, there’s more to consider than whether they’re physically accessible. A greater challenge is making sure the environments we work and live in accommodate ‘invisible’ or ‘hidden’ disabilities – a long list of conditions that range from hearing impairment to autism to anxiety disorders. Understanding the space requirements of…

“Medical assistance in dying” worries many Canadians

“Medical assistance in dying” worries many CanadiansJust because politicians and activists are gung-ho about expanding medical assistance in dying (MAID) doesn’t mean all Canadians are so enthusiastic. If anything, Canadians would tell the politicians it’s time to slow down and broaden the discussion on Parliament Hill. A parliamentary committee recently rushed through witness testimony on Bill C-7. The bill would expand…

Caregiving can last for decades, new research shows

Understanding different lifetime patterns of caregiving can inform supportive policies to help people cope, say U of A researchers

Caregiving can last for decades, new research showsTo most people, ‘caregiving’ means looking after ailing relatives in their final years. But the reality is much different, with the actual workload lasting up to 30 years for some, according to University of Alberta research. The study, the first of its kind to gauge caregiving across a person’s lifetime, debunks the myth that looking after an…

The overblown panic of COVID-19

We trampled, in fear, over memory and institutions, obsessively protective and morally dismissive of dignity and human life

The overblown panic of COVID-19The schizophrenic aspects of Canadian culture and their influence on governments’ behaviour are increasingly evident. The most palpable example lies in how we trampled, in fear, over memory and institutions, obsessively protective and morally dismissive of dignity and human life simultaneously. The COVID-19 lockdown has been a strange time for people who are struggling to…
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