Are you grieving? Do you know someone who is?
Every Canadian deserves the chance to say goodbye to their loved ones, even in an unprecedented crisis such as COVID-19. There have been too many heartbreaking stories of families who were unable to say goodbye due to extreme restrictions on end-of-life visitations. As a result of these restrictions during the pandemic, many people who have lost a loved one have not been able to say goodbye, visit, and in many cases have a proper funeral or celebration of life.
We at CHPCA would like to acknowledge the grief so many Canadians have experienced during these unprecedented times by holding an online concert in conjunction with National Bereavement Day. If you would like to honour your loved one who has passed and add your loved one’s name to be streamed during the event.
The deadline for all submissions for the National Bereavement Day, Saying Goodbye Concert is August 17, 2020. The Saying Goodbye concert will take place on November 15, 2020.
The Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (CHPCA) and the CHPCA Champion’s Council announce the launch of the “Saying Goodbye” campaign. We are calling on health authorities to implement a more compassionate approach to end-of-life visitations across Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While certain provinces have taken steps to relax visitation protocols for end-of-life situations, many hospitals and long-term care homes still do not allow family access, even with personal protective equipment (PPE).
Every Canadian deserves the chance to say goodbye to their loved ones, even in an unprecedented crisis such as COVID-19. There have been too many heartbreaking stories of families who were unable to say goodbye due to extreme restrictions on end-of-life visitations. While health and safety must continue to be paramount as we fight COVID-19, we can do better as a society by promoting a more compassionate, inclusive visitation protocol that embraces hospice palliative care principles and dying with dignity.
The CHPCA is urging health authorities and providers to deliver on three key asks:
Adopt a compassionate protocol that allows those nearing death to say goodbye to their families and loved ones, and follows safety measures including PPE requirements as indicated by the Public Health Agency of Canada. This can be achieved by reviewing current public health protocols to include a compassionate approach around end-of-life visitations.
Liaise with the hospice palliative care (HPC) community to exchange expertise in caring for the dying and the bereaved. Many of the approximately 265,000 Canadians who die each year are supported by HPC, so the CHPCA and its partners have extensive experience in this area and valuable learnings to share.
Offer grief and bereavement support services for those who lose a family member or loved one. Existing grief and bereavement services are extremely limited and not necessarily funded by the health care system. There are significant long-term implications Canada could face if growing demand is not addressed.
Together, these recommendations will help Canadians say goodbye and deal with their loss in a way that protects the safety of frontline health care workers and prevents transmission of COVID-19.