World Hospice and Palliative Care Day 2012

Today marks the World Hospice and Palliative Care Day. This is a unified day of action to celebrate and support hospice and palliative care around the world. This year’s theme is ‘Living to the end: Palliative care for an aging population’.

Populations are aging with vast numbers of people around the globe living into old age. Increasingly, older people are living with and dying from multiple, chronic debilitating conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes cancer, dementia and HIV and AIDS. Older people must have access to appropriate care, support and treatment, which recognises their contribution to society and is tailored to their individual needs through the course of illness, including at the end of life. Unfortunately palliative care is very rarely available.

On World Hospice and Palliative Care Day 2012, palliative care organisations are calling for urgent action from UN agencies, governments, the private sector and civil society to ensure the following:

  • the inclusion of older people in the decision-making around their care options, including at the end of life
  • existing health policies address the unique palliative care needs of older people
  • universal access to hospice and palliative care for older people living with, and dying from, life-limiting conditions including non-communicable conditions
  • access to, and availability of, pain medications, including oral opioids, for older people worldwide
  • adequate support, training, supplies and equipment so that health professionals and carers can provide palliative care for older people in the community, in inpatient facilities and in people’s own homes
  • the advocacy agenda on active ageing promotes compassionate and dignified care for older people with life-limiting illneses, including they are at their most vulnerable and approaching the end of life.

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Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance

The Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance is an alliance of national and regional hospice and palliative care organisations, bringing together people around the world with a shared vision of universal access to quality palliative care. 

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