The process of dying for the homeless is eased with THE GOOD WISHES project

TORONTO, June 27, 2016 /CNW/ - The Good Neighbours' Club (GNC), the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller and Inner City Health Associates (ICHA) have joined forces on THE GOOD WISHES project, a program designed to provide people experiencing homelessness with 3 simple wishes to help ease their end-of-life.

Individuals experiencing homelessness are known to have higher mortality rates than the general population and to die at an earlier age. Their palliative care needs are also high. There may be an absence of close family members or social networks to provide support in a way that respects their personal journey.  The goal of THE GOOD WISHES project is to personalize the process of dying and to bring comfort and dignity to the last days of those who have lived a difficult life. 

Some examples of the wishes could be a special meal with friends, facilitating a visit by an out of town family member, or a request for a favourite food.  The project concept is inspired by the 3 Wishes project developed in Hamilton, which provides 3 wishes for the patient and family of those dying in the intensive care unit.

"It's important that the lives of everyone at end of life be validated," said GNC Executive Director Bruno Scorsone.  "They have contributed to society, raised families, worked and led productive lives.  Some have experienced hardship along the way.  As a society, we need to honour them," Scorsone added.

The pilot project is made possible through a founding donation from the Sovereign Order of St John. Donations will be solicited for ongoing support.  Inner City Health Associates, a group of physicians working in homeless shelters and drop-ins, will provide the referrals of patients enrolled in their PEACH palliative care program.  The Good Neighbours' Club will administer the program and seek to fulfill the wishes of the participants. 

A report will be completed at the end of the first year of the project to evaluate its success. 

SOURCE The Good Neighbours' Club

For further information: Media Contact: A. Bruno Scorsone, PhD, RSW, Executive Director, The Good Neighbours' Club, T. 416.366.5377 ext 222, E.


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