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Canadians Are Aging. We've Done the Math. Have you?

OTTAWA, May 3, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Did you know that seniors make up Canada's fastest growing age group?[i] And that currently only 16-30% of Canadians who die have access to quality hospice palliative care?[ii] For National Hospice Palliative Care Week 2013, the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (CHPCA) is asking Canadians and hospice palliative care professionals to raise their voice and encourage discussions about improving access to hospice palliative care across the country.

"In 2010, 259,000 Canadians died, yet few received hospice palliative care and bereavement services" said Sarah Walker, President of the CHPCA, "if we do not think ahead, our healthcare system will be woefully underprepared for the influx of seniors. It is time for a systemic change."

"Quality hospice palliative care offers a flexible set of services. It includes physical, psychological, social, spiritual and practical support for people with life-threatening illnesses, and to their families. It focuses on what people need and want at any given time, both prior to death and during bereavement. Our population is aging, and seniors deserve proper access to these services in the setting of their choice," added Sharon Baxter, Executive Director of the CHPCA.

By 2036, seniors will make up 25% of the Canadian population,[iii] and if we do not have a functioning, integrated hospice palliative care system, even more of us will die emergency rooms. The CHPCA urges Canadians to share these statistics, whether it be with a friend or a provincial Minister of Parliament – it is time for us to raise our voices. Fillable postcards are available for order at www.chpca.net/week

National Hospice Palliative Care Week is coordinated by the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association. Funding for National Hospice Palliative Care Week is provided by The GlaxoSmithKline Foundation, WeCare Home Health Services, and Purdue Pharma. For more information, and promotional materials for National Hospice Palliative Care Week, please go to www.chpca.net/week

Join the CHPCA on May 8 at 1pm (EST) for a special National Hospice Palliative Care Week Online Event, "A Golden Death: Hospice palliative care for seniors," hosted by Deborah Randall-Wood. To register for this event, please go to http://www.chpca.net/news-and-events/online-event-series.aspx.

[i] Population Projections for Canada, Provinces and Territories – 2009-2036, Statistics Canada, Catalogue 91-520-XIE. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/100526/dq100526b-eng.htm

[ii] Canadian Institute for Health Information, Health Care Use at the End of Life in Western Canada (Ottawa: CIHI, 2007).

[iii] Population Projections for Canada, Provinces and Territories – 2009-2036, Statistics Canada, Catalogue 91-520-XIE. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/100526/dq100526b-eng.htm

CONTACT: VSherry@bruyere.org

Source:Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association