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How do the palliative care options available in Metro Vancouver compare in general?

There are pros and cons to each option.

In-home palliative care is a natural choice for many families. This option allows your loved one to live life to the fullest in the comfort of home during the end phase of life. However, this is not suitable for situations where patients require constant medical supervision or where in-home palliative care may not provide enough social interaction for the individual. Plus, while the BC Ministry of Health actively supports in-home palliative care, this option may be unaffordable if the patient is not covered by an extended life insurance policy.

Hospice facilities usually offer a relaxed, home-like setting for both the patient and the family. Many, supported by a network of volunteers and professionals, provide opportunities for social interactions as well as amenities like massage and physiotherapy. Most non-profit hospices charge a reasonable fee. The disadvantage of a hospice facility includes sharing amenities such as dining room, kitchen or laundry with other families. Due to the limited capacity there is usually a waiting list for these facilities.

Receiving palliative care in a residential care facility may be a convenient choice for people who were already in a residential facility prior to the need for palliative care. However, not every residential facility is capable of providing hospice care and these programs tend to be more expensive than their non-profit counterparts.

Palliative care units of hospitals accept patients who need intensive medical care. This includes those who need to be on medical ventilation or individuals with dementia where in-home care is unsuitable. The main drawback of hospital palliative care units is the clinical setting and limited capacity to accept patients.

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