New pro­gram will pro­vide trans­porta­tion to pal­lia­tive care pa­tients

The News (New Glasgow) - - PICTOU COUNTY - BY ADAM MACINNIS

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.

ADAM MACINNIS/THE NEWS

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.

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