BLOCK A: September 19 – 10:00am
A1/B1 – Talking With – Not Past: Creating Supportive Decision-Making Environments for Families Walking with Loved Ones at End-of-Life

The dearth of knowledge that people have about end-of-life options leads to additional frustration for patients and families. Family members and medical practitioners can have conversations during the dying stages that alleviate anxiety and confusion. Common communication problems and mutually beneficial strategies will be illustrated by the presenters. Plain language and patient-centred care will be the focus together with communication tips and the continuum of palliative care.

Wayne Sandler, Community Outreach and Education Coordinator, Palliative Manitoba

Carolyn Peters, MSW, PhD, Retired Social Worker

Please note this a 120 minute workshop and is continued into the next session.

A2 – Enhancing Palliative Care Services in First Nations communities in Southern Health-Santé Sud

Dakota Ojibway Health Services (DOHS) and Southern Health-Santé Sud (SHSS) are working in partnership on a model of care funded project through the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. This presentation will describe the community engagement project which includes five Dakota Ojibway Tribal Council (DOTC) communities within southern Manitoba. We will discuss the First Nation communities’ key priorities and new palliative care service delivery strategies that are being implemented.

Katie Asma, BSW, RSW, Southern Health-Santé Sud

Michelle Cardinal, RNBN, Dakota Ojibway Health Services

A3 – Skin Failure at End-of-Life – Taking a Palliative Approach to Wound Care

Patients approaching end of life are at risk for developing skin breakdown; leading to discomfort, distress, agitation, family concerns and complex care. It is imperative for not only health care professionals, but also the patient’s circle of care to understand concepts related to skin changes at life’s end (SCALE). These concepts will assist individuals to provide care or advocate for the palliative care patient, while improving quality of life for those nearing end of life.

Anika Southam, RN, MN, CHPCN(C) IIWCC

 
BLOCK B: September 19 – 11:15am
CONTINUED: A1/B1 – Talking With – Not Past: Creating Supportive Decision-Making Environments for Families Walking with Loved Ones at End-of-Life

Please note this a 120 minute workshop and is continued from the previous session.

Wayne Sandler, Community Outreach and Education Coordinator, Palliative Manitoba

Carolyn Peters, MSW, PhD, Retired Social Worker

B2 – Early Palliative and Supportive Care Outreach for Frail Homebound Seniors Living with Progressive Non-Malignant Life-Limiting Illnesses

Providing early palliative care to homebound seniors living with serious non-malignant illnesses is challenging due to prognostic uncertainty, lack of resources and manpower, and palliative care misconceptions. This 60-minute presentation highlights the experience of a community teaching hospital launching an innovative geriatric supportive care outreach program during the height of COVID-19 pandemic by utilizing a Nurse-Practitioner led inter-professional model of care. Program successes and challenges will be shared.

Karen Lock, RN(EC), NP-Adult, MN, CHPCN(C), North York General Hospital, Lawrence Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto

B3 – The Sorcerer’s Apprentice: Managing Medications in Palliative Care

Though medications have provided an immense boon to patients and providers, medications are drugs. Drugs have interactions and side-effects, as well as significant financial cost and other burdens. Using a case-based format, this talk will examine medications that have been prescribed completely appropriately, but whose continued use in patients with life-limiting illness often warrants careful examination. We will look at some arguably superfluous medications, some high-risk medications, and strategies to not prescribe and/or to de-prescribe.

Ted St. Godard, MA, BSc(Med), MD, CCFP(PC), FCFP

 
BLOCK C: September 19 – 1:15pm
C1 – The Influence of Medical Assistance In Dying on Non-Professional Caregivers – Family, Friends, and Volunteers of Patients. A Systematic Review

This presentation will review the findings of various studies which explore non-professional caregivers – family, friends and volunteers, experiences with Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD). This presentation will focus on Canadian literature from 2016 to 2023 and aims to summarize for participants what the existing literature tells us about caregiver’s need and experiences. The presenter will consider the implications of these findings on health policy and explore opportunities to improve the experience of MAiD for non-professional caregivers.

Stepan Bilynskyy, MD, MA(SDMP), MA in Bioethics & Health Policy, Grace Hospital, U of M, Max Rady College of Medicine

C2 – Walking Alongside Indigenous Peoples Who Are Seriously Ill: Education for Community Caregivers

Explore a new resource that aims to enhance access to palliative care in Indigenous communities by supporting health and social care providers to deliver community-based education. Developed at Centre for Education and Research on Aging & Health, Lakehead University, this train-the-trainer curriculum is based on clinical best practices and is grounded in the Indigenous Wellness Framework, which incorporates community’s experiences, culture, values, and beliefs into the education. Learn how to utilize the curriculum’s tools to support family and community caregivers.

Holly Prince, MSW, PhD Candidate, Indigenous Peoples’ Health and Aging Division Lead, CERAH, Lakehead University

Jessica Wyatt, BEd, MA, PMP, Knowledge Broker, CERAH, Lakehead University

C3 – Decision Making Capacity in Palliative Care

In palliative care, we work with seriously ill patients who are at risk for diminished decision-making capacity, and regularly ask them to make complex decisions regarding treatment and disposition planning.  This session aims to define capacity, identify who is at risk for diminished capacity, and outline an approach to determining medical decision-making capacity.  We will also discuss important nuances to consider when assessing capacity, including legal requirements, and how age, developmental level and mental health conditions can impact capacity.

Dr. Stephanie Butterworth, CCFP(PC)

 
BLOCK D: September 20 – 10:00am
D1/E1 – Fostering Compassionate Communities through Grief Literacy Events

A national survey commissioned by the Canadian Grief Alliance indicated that the majority of Canadians don’t feel well supported in their grief, within their communities. The CGA is coordinating a national grief awareness week that will engage communities across the country in hosting grief-positive events within their community. This interactive workshop will engage participants in defining innovative approaches to potential grief literacy events and empower participants to engage their communities to host a grief event, and contribute to building more compassionate communities across Canada.

Shelly Cory, MA, Executive Director, Canadian Virtual Hospice; founder, Canadian Grief Alliance

Megan Campbell, MA, Project Manager, Grief Literacy, Canadian Virtual Hospice

Maria Fiala, BA, Communications Manager, Canadian Virtual Hospice and Canadian Grief Alliance

Please note this a 120 minute workshop and is continued into the next session.

D2 – You are Invited: Embrace Life’s Endless Invitations

What if we viewed all of life as an endless series of invitations? What invitations do we accept and what do we decline? What invitations enthral us?  What invitations bewilder us? I invite you to entertain the plethora of events and experiences of life, including death and illness,  as invitations to a perspective that can provide us with a unique way of understanding these inevitable and challenging aspects of our experience.

David Zinger, MEd

D3 – Nausea Management: the Old, the New, and the Not So Common

Nausea, if present, can have a big impact on a person’s quality of life. The underlying reasons for nausea are often multifactorial and complex and the management difficult. By understanding the underlying pathways and mechanisms of nausea and emesis, pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic approaches can be applied and combined to maximal effect. This targeted approach avoids unnecessary polypharmacy and risking side effects of medications not indicated based on the clinical scenario.

Nadin Gilroy, MD, CCFP(PC), Physician/Consultant WRHA Palliative Care Program and Pediatric Palliative Care

 
BLOCK E: September 20 – 11:15am
Continued: D1/E1 – Fostering Compassionate Communities through Grief Literacy Events

Please note this a 120 minute workshop and is continued from the previous session.

Shelly Cory, MA, Executive Director, Canadian Virtual Hospice; founder, Canadian Grief Alliance

Megan Campbell, MA, Project Manager, Grief Literacy, Canadian Virtual Hospice

Maria Fiala, BA, Communications Manager, Canadian Virtual Hospice and Canadian Grief Alliance

E2 – Dignity Therapy in Pediatrics

This session will discuss the legacy intervention of Dignity Therapy and the experience of the presenter’s team in modifying the intervention for use in the pediatric population.  The benefits and challenges of Dignity Therapy in pediatrics will be explored through a case series of children and young adults who participated in the program.

Jared Rubenstein, MD, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine; Division of Pediatric Palliative Care, Texas Children’s Hospital

E3 – Getting Everyone on the Same Page: Long Term Care Nurses’ Experiences in Advance Care Planning

This presentation highlights the findings of a grounded theory study examining Long Term Care (LTC) nurses’ experiences with Advanced Care Planning (ACP). The model that emerged from the study demonstrated that nurses’ primary goal in ACP is facilitating conversations aimed at ensuring resident comfort at the end of life. This outcome required that navigate a complex web of individual, interpersonal, organizational and systematic factors. Their ability to do so was critical in ensuring feelings of efficacy as health care providers.

Preetha Krishnan, NP, PhD, WRHA, LTC

 
BLOCK F: September 20 – 1:15pm
F1 – Bringing the Calm: The Death Doula Approach to Setting the Scene for Active Dying

Michelle will share from her experience about different common situations that occur all too often when a person is approaching the active dying phase, and how to help them and their loved ones approach this time differently. Many do not know what to look for when it comes to differentiating between their loved one slowly declining versus entering the active dying phase. Knowing when and how to set the scene for active dying can make a difference for the dying and for their loved ones.

Michelle Leary, Death Doula, The Spirit Guided Path

F2 – Changing the Conversation: Transforming Palliative Care for the Future

Through interactive discussions, case studies, and shared lived experience, this workshop aims to inspire attendees to become catalysts for change within their respective roles and communities, driving forward the mission of transforming palliative care for the future.

Dr. Nadine Persaud, MSW, BSW, RSW

F3 – Vicarious Trauma within Palliative care medicine: Its ok, not to be ok

This presentation will address identifying vicarious trauma effects in the setting of palliative care. We will look at the challenges faced and the implications these experiences carry in affecting caregiver’s quality of life. Focus will be on raising awareness in identifying signs and symptoms of vicarious trauma within oneself and others. Through reviewing various modalities of treatment, we will identify ways to prevent and work with vicarious trauma.

Dr. Tharaga Kugathasan, CCFP(CP)