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PSWs Lend Comfort and Support During Difficult Transitions

For many people experiencing terminal illnesses, the decision to spend their final days at home feels right. But managing end-of-life care is often more than most families can manage on their own. That’s why Circle of Care’s recent annual education event for all Personal Support Workers (PSWs) focused on helping patients and families cope with these difficult transitions at home.

“Personal Support Workers are ideally positioned in the community to help patients and families during the final stage of a life-threatening illness,” said Lara de Sousa, Circle of Care’s Vice President, Client Services. “By teaching our PSWs how they can help relieve pain and improve quality of life for a dying person, we are helping families fulfil their wish to spend their last days together in the comfort and privacy of their homes, rather than in hospital.”

Thanks to Circle of Care’s partnership with Sinai Health System, more than 1,000 PSWs had the opportunity to learn directly from experts of Sinai’s renown Temmy Latner Centre for Palliative Care. Topics included nutrition, pain relief, family support and what to anticipate during the final hours of life. Case studies and requirements for practical support were also covered by Client Services Supervisor and Practice Lead Johanne Loughrey.

“Caring for a client who is dying can be a very isolating and sensitive experience for a PSW,” said Loughrey. “But we are well set up to help guide and support PSWs through these end-of-life journeys. In the end, knowing that you’ve helped a family through such a difficult transition can be a very rewarding experience.”

Special thanks to Drs. Paolo Mazzotta, Habon Samater, Jennifer Arvanitis, Hardeep Prewal, Russell Goldman for lending their time and expertise.