New program will provide transportation to palliative care patients
A new pilot partnership between the Aberdeen Palliative Care Society and CHAD transit aims to ease and enrich the lives of those living in palliative care in Pictou County.
The program was proposed by Dr. Anne Kwasnik-Krawczyk, palliative care director at the Aberdeen Hospital, who got the idea from a similar program in Antigonish inspired by Dayna Overmars, a VON Nurse with VON Antigonish, who saw a need there and formed a partnership with Antigonish Regional Transit.
The new agreement will see CHAD provide drives to medical appointments as well as potential recreational outings for people living in palliative care.
While those in the late stages of palliative care may be hospitalized and unable to leave, Kwasnik-Krawczyk said there are about 100 people in the community program at a time. These people are in palliative care, but still have appointments to go to and are still
■ able to enjoy activities. This program will help them directly and indirectly provide some respite time for their caregivers. She said it’s a great chance for those in palliative care to get out and will help them to not feel so isolated. She envisions them being able to visit places like LORDA Park or other wheelchairaccessible recreational areas.
“That’s going to be a huge difference to quality of life,” she said.
CHAD Transit executive director Danny MacGillivray said they were instantly interested in the idea when it was presented to them and applied for a grant to make it become a reality. Funding for the program is coming from a provincial Building Vibrant Communities Grant which provided $5,000 for the pilot.
He said they will continue to offer the free trips until the money runs out and after that will consider finding a way to continue it longer, depending on the level of interest.
Ian Bos, a board member of the Aberdeen Palliative Care Society, hopes to see it continue.
“Personally, I think these types of partnerships encapsulate what palliative is; community coming together to support each other when they need it most and removing the stigma that palliative means imminent death,” he said.
The Aberdeen Palliative Care Society and CHAD Transit are partnering to provide a program that will offer free drives for those in palliative care. Pictured from left are: Mark Turnbull, Dr. Anne Kwasnik-Krawczyk, Debbie Williams, Jackie Hamilton, Patti MacEwan and Marg MacIntosh of CHAD.