Sandra Tudge is a Senior Research Associate in the Saint Elizabeth Research Centre. Sandra has worked at Saint Elizabeth for 20 years providing program development and project management in areas such as mental health, psychogeriatrics and research. In her current position, she provides leadership in the design and implementation of research projects with a focus on program evaluation for internal and external clients and leads knowledge translation process within variable contexts.
Addressing disparities in access to palliative care: Developing a palliative approach curriculum for non-healthcare workers supporting people who are homeless
Paul Holyoke is Director of the Saint Elizabeth Research Centre which has an applied research and evaluation portfolio. The Centre’s work is varied, including, for example, qualitative studies of the patient and care provider experience in health systems, quantitative studies of, and projections for, health system capacity, and design research into the desired care experiences of people who have had strokes and people who are dealing with dying family members. Paul brings extensive experience and leadership in policy and public management to his research and evaluation activities, with a strong emphasis on identifying how to apply research and evaluation findings in practice. In addition to his policy and planning experience in the senior management ranks of Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, Paul has legal training and experience, and governance experience as a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Waterloo-Wellington Local Health Integration Network and he is Chair of the Centre Wellington Social Justice Group. He teaches Critical Health Policy in the Health Studies program at University College, University of Toronto. Paul has a Ph.D. in Health Policy from the University of Toronto, a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Public Administration from the London School of Economics and a law degree from the University of Toronto.
Background: Access to palliative care in Canada remains a challenge for all people approaching the end of their lives, but this is especially so for those suffering from structural inequities such as homelessness, racialization, and stigmatization of substance abuse and mental illness. Older homeless adults often experience greater barriers in accessing health and social services than their younger peers, because their needs can be more complex requiring access to specialized medical care. Compounding these barriers is the longer period older adults have had to develop a deep mistrust of healthcare professionals, resulting from professionals’ perceptions of stigma, their negative judgements and discrimination. For older homeless adults, accessing palliative care as a priority can fall well behind ensuring basic survival. How can we serve this group of people better?
Building from the knowledge that non-healthcare providers, such as outreach workers, housing workers, and addiction workers can and do build trusting relationships with structurally vulnerable people, and on their different approach to caring with fewer regulations and restrictions than in traditional healthcare, an opportunity exists to foster these relationships to improve palliative services and access to care. These non-healthcare workers lack, however, knowledge and training about a palliative approach to care.
In this workshop two facilitators will describe how, in collaboration with people with lived experience of homelessness, peer workers, social care workers and organizational partners in Toronto, Victoria and Calgary, we developed a curriculum on the palliative approach to care for non-healthcare care workers, including those who work with older adults. The curriculum has been developed in keeping with the non-traditional pedagogical approaches preferred by the non-healthcare workers.
Participants will learn about:
- an inclusionary approach to co-designing programs for palliative care and the palliative approach to care;
- the adapting, adopting and embedding principles of palliative care to enable a palliative approach for a non-healthcare learner group; and
- a new curriculum on the palliative approach to care for social care workers
First, information will be provided about the curriculum development process and its collaborative components. Then we will open up the workshop for questions, answers and discussion. Next, we will provide an opportunity to experience “learning” the curriculum. Finally, we will brainstorm ideas about how to make more people aware of the curriculum, encourage its uptake, and its possible use for other learner groups.