Choosing Care Options
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Navigating your way through the health care system is often very difficult. This part of the journey can be challenging and, at times, overwhelming. Discussing and deciding where one wants to die is a very personal and difficult thing to do with loved ones.

The palliative journey describes the places where people nearing end of life, family and care partners interact with the formal care system, government legislation, and other support services.

Remember that death is a social event with a medical component, not a medical event with a social component.  The larger part of dying happens outside of the institution and professional care

Dr. Allen Kellehear, 4th International Public Health and Palliative Care Conference 2015

Where to receive palliative care

Deciding where to receive care as illness progresses can be challenging, but planning now for that care can decrease anxiety later on. Talk with loved ones about the type of care you would like to receive at the end of life: discuss your expectations as well as personal wishes, care needs, finances, and the needs of the family. Choices may change as illness changes and advances.

Support at home

In British Columbia, one may choose to die at home or stay home as long as possible. Learn about the services and supports available to assist this choice.

Hospice societies and associations in Interior Health

Interior Health is fortunate to have many are hospice organizations within our health-care region. Hospice societies and associations offer invaluable services to their local communities including volunteer support, grief counselling, advance care planning workshops, and much, much more. Here is a list of the hospice societies and organizations within Interior Health.

You can also check your local phone book to identify the closest Hospice Society or Association to you. It is never too early to contact hospice for information, education and support throughout the palliative journey, or in any setting of care.  

Hospice Beds

In British Columbia, a person can access a community hospice bed to receive palliative respite care or to stabilize symptoms and then return home. Or a person may wish to be in a community hospice bed during the last days or weeks of life as a chosen place to die.

These types of beds are located in free standing hospice houses (if available), or in long-term care facilities where rooms are specifically designed to be more “hospice-like”. Here is where you can search to find a local hospice or long-term care facility.


Hospitals are reserved for brief admissions to assist with pain and symptom management, with a plan to then go back home or to an alternate site such as a community hospice bed.  In some situations, and when there are no other options available, a person may die in hospital to remain in their home community and close to loved ones.

Over the next five years, IH is working on providing more “hospice-like” environments within long-term care and community hospital settings to better support palliative patients and their families.

MoH     PCQO