End-of-Life Journey


What is Palliative Care? • Who Provides Care? • How do I Access End-of-L​ife Care or Palliative ​Care Services? ​• Financial Supports at the End of Life • Resources​​

​​​​What is Palliative Care?

Palliative care seeks to improve the quality of life of people who are living with a serious illness and nearing the end of life. Some First Nations communities call this time “journeying to the Spirit World," or “meeting the ancestors."

The goal of palliative care is to prepare people for the journey by providing wholistic end-of-life care that supports comfort and relief from suffering. Palliative care also aims to support the family and loved ones of someone nearing the end of life.

Who Provides​ Car​e?​

Care is shared by family, friends, community members, community cultural and spiritual support, community health teams, and the regional health authority home and community care program, which may include the palliative care team.  Some regional health authorities have virtual support services, and all have access to after-hours palliative nursing telephone support after referral to their program. 

The palliative care team is a team of health workers identified to support your needs. In addition to your primary care provider (doctor or nurse practitioner), the palliative care team may also include a social worker, pharmacist, Elders, traditional healers, traditional knowledge keepers, specialists, social workers, mental health workers, community nurses, home support workers, and others.

How do I Access End-of-Life Care or Palliative ​Care Services?

If you or someone you know needs end-of-life care or palliative care services, you can contact the home and community care office of your First Nations community and or regional health authority, or you can have a health care professional make a referral on your behalf.

If you, or someone you know, are seeking Medical Assistance in Dying, please see our MAID website.

Financial Supports at the End of Life

There are several programs that support medication, supplies and equipment at the end of life. Some First Nations communities may have additional financial support. Please contact your community for more information.

Palliative Care Benefits (Plan P)

  • A doctor or nurse practitioner completes a Palliative Benefits Form and submits to BC Pharmacare. Regional Health Authority Home and Community Care manage the equipment part of BC Palliative Benefits program and will determine how to get equipment and supplies when needed.  Medications will be coordinated with FNHB (see below).​

First Nations Health Benefits (Plan W).

  • Coverage is available for over-the-counter medication and medical supplies and equipment. Please visit the FNHA's eligibility page or call Health Benefits to learn more at 1-855-550-5454.


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