June PCSBV Newsletter 2023


Palliative and End-of-Life Care

Palliative and end-of-life care is a critical aspect of healthcare. Several factors uniquely influence the provision of quality care in indigenous communities recognizing their cultural values and specific healthcare needs. Cultural Beliefs and Practices : Indigenous communities have distinct cultural beliefs and practices surrounding death and dying. Traditional healing practices, spirituality, and the importance of community involvement play vital roles in shaping their palliative and end-of-life care preferences. Historical Trauma and Trust : Building trust and understanding cultural sensitivities is crucial in providing appropriate care that respects indigenous traditions and customs. Geographical and Social Determinants : Remote locations, limited access to healthcare facilities, and socioeconomic disparities can pose challenges to accessing palliative and end-of-life care services. Addressing these determinants is essential to ensure equitable and accessible care for indigenous communities.

Providing quality palliative and end-of-life care to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities requires a holistic and culturally sensitive approach. Recognizing and addressing the unique factors influencing care delivery is vital to ensure equitable access, respect for cultural practices, and improved health outcomes for indigenous individuals and their families. These meaningful practices promote dignity, spiritual well-being, and a sense of cultural continuity during the end-of-life journey. Workforce Education and Cultural Competence: Healthcare providers need to receive education and training that enhances their understanding of indigenous cultures, history, and specific healthcare needs. Culturally competent care is fundamental to providing respectful and effective palliative and end-of-life care. Community Involvement: Engaging community members, elders, and cultural leaders in the development and delivery of care services helps ensure cultural safety and responsiveness. Health Inequities: First Nations, Inuit, and Métis individuals experience higher rates of chronic illnesses, poverty, and lower health outcomes compared to the general population. Addressing these health inequities is crucial to providing equitable palliative and end-of-life care services.


To learn more about the promising palliative care and end-of-life practices in First Nations, Inuit and Metis communities read: Beginning the journey into the spirit world: First Nations, Inuit and Métis approaches to palliative and end-of-life care in Canada - Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. (Source)

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