Taking the journey together: Increasing access to palliative care for people experiencing homelessness

Thursday, June 2, 2016: 10:00 AM-11:30 AM
Broadway I (Hilton Portland)
In recent years the World Health Organization has made a strong push to increase accessibility to palliative care for all populations. Yet the homeless population, inarguable one of the most vulnerable, struggles to access palliative care. Palliative care acknowledges that there is no cure for incurable illness, instead focusing on relief of physical, emotional or spiritual suffering along the journey. This workshop will open with a powerful exercise intended to connect the participants with the experience of loss as a first step in opening to the losses another faces, and building a therapeutic relationship. Following this exercise, an overview of both palliative care principles and practices will follow lecture style. This will include introducing 5 practices that participants can use during their interactions with palliative patients. Participants will be broken into small groups and given case studies. Each group will work with the basic principles and practices presented and come up suggestions for palliative care interventions. This will be very helpful for participants who are working to coordinating multiple agencies supporting one individual. The final section of this workshop will introduce advanced directive planning. A review of research focused on people experiencing homelessness and advanced care planning will be presented, in conjunction with case studies. The entirety of this workshop is intended to serve as an introduction to palliative care principles and practices in the setting of the homeless populations.
Angela C Lee, RN, BSN (Nursing Director, Hospice Without Borders)
David Slack, MD (Medical Director, Hospice Without Borders)
Meg Martin, MSW CPC (Program Director, Interfaith Works Emergency Overnight Shelter)
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