Compassionate Communities

Pallium has adopted the Compassionate Communities theory of practice to guide its efforts in mobilizing communities around palliative care. At the core of this model lies a Compassionate City Charter, which acts as a guide to build Compassionate Communities and drive social change.

When it comes to palliative care, the health care system is only part of the equation. Compassionate Communities respond to local community needs and empower individuals to provide important physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and practical support to patients, families, and caregivers.

At its core, a Compassionate Community is about improving the quality of life for people with a life-limiting illness and their families by encouraging people to advocate and provide assistance and practical support within their community.

Pallium’s role is to accelerate the creation of Compassionate Communities across Canada, connect and enable them to support collaboration and knowledge transfer, and evaluate their impact.

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Where does care take place?

Family caregivers provide more than 80% of care needed by patients with serious illness or long-term conditions and contribute $25 billion in unpaid labour to our health system.

With Canada’s aging population, the number of caregivers and the support needed from those caregivers is expected to increase.

Compassionate Communities widen the circle of caring and provide much-needed support to patients and caregivers facing serious illness and death.

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How can you launch a Compassionate Community?

Additional Resources

  • Sustainability Guide – The Compassionate Communities Sustainability Guide will build on the Compassionate Communities Startup Toolkit by supporting initiatives through their next phase of development—scale and spread. Learn more.
  • Care Connections Program – The Care Connections Program consists of the Atlas CareMap Toolkit, the Atlas CareMap Community Workshop Toolkit, the Health Care Professional Module, and LEAP Carers. These materials work together to support and encourage caregivers to create an Atlas CareMap. Learn more.
  • Faith Community Toolkit – The Faith Community Toolkit will increase knowledge and understanding of medical and spiritual aspects surrounding serious illness, caregiving, death, and grieving, while building capacity within Catholic parishes to support compassionate care within and beyond the parish community. Learn more.

Living Well Until the End: The Role of Community

The Honourable Sharon Carstairs shares her thoughts on the importance of palliative and end-of-life care in Canada and the role of community in shaping change.