Virtual Hospice

By June 17, 2015 Recent News

IMFC 17 June 2015
Shelly Cory, executive director of Virtual Hospice, remembers when a distraught grandmother contacted the web-based resource. The woman was struggling with how to talk to her three-year-old grandson about his mother’s terminal breast cancer.
“Our team worked together not only to provide her with that guidance, but also to help find ways that mother and son could work together on projects to create a legacy for him,” recounts Cory. “We also offered support in how she could help her grandson in the days, months and years ahead.”
An easily accessible resource like Virtual Hospice that serves patients and loved ones is greatly needed. It’s estimated that only 16 percent of Canadians have access to quality palliative care.1 Virtual Hospice exists precisely to address the gaps in information and support.
A virtual palliative care team
The idea for the Winnipeg, Manitoba-based website was developed by a group of palliative care leaders who recognized that Canadians need a reputable source of information and support, regardless of geographical location. Senator Sharon Carstairs (now retired) was a vocal supporter of this effort.
The website connects people with a team of palliative care experts who provide answers to difficult end of life questions. The team includes physicians, nurses, social workers, spiritual care advisors, ethicists, a First Nations Elder and a Patient/Family Advisor.3 Cory says, “Our team is very unique and rare in its range of expertise. Yet, our team is representative of the passion people working in palliative care bring to their work” Connecting to an expert is as simple as offering an e-mail address and postal code.