The survey found that a third of people think palliative care is a last resort, when in fact it can be used for a number of years.
HALF OF IRISH people think the Covid-19 pandemic has increased the importance of discussing palliative care.
The finding is from a new survey of perceptions of palliative care commissioned by the All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care (AIIHPC) to highlight Palliative Care Week (13-19 September).
The survey of people in the Republic of Ireland carried out in July 2020, also found that 4 in 5 people would like to be supported to discuss and write down their wishes and preferences for care at the end of life.
The findings also demonstrate that misconceptions exist about palliative care. The survey found that 1 in 3 people think palliative care is a last resort, whereas palliative care may be appropriate for a number of years, not just for weeks and days at the end of life.
Palliative Care Week, facilitated by AIIHPC, aims to raise awareness across the island of Ireland about the positive difference palliative care can make to people with life-limiting conditions and their carers and families.
Speaking ahead of Palliative Care Week 2020, Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, said that it was important that the public understands palliative care:
Palliative care plays a vital role in maintaining quality of life for people with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions.
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AIIHPC Director, Karen Charnley said the aim of Palliative Care Week is for people to have a better understanding of palliative care and its benefits: “We encourage people to talk about palliative care and its benefits with their GP or other health and social care professionals, and with those who are important to them.”