PORT HARDY. B.C- A new program will help caregivers give better access to palliative patients, digitally.

According to Island Health, residents of northern Vancouver Island who are receiving palliative care at home now have access to a tablet to help them communicate with their care team in-between regular appointments to the doctor.

The program is aiming to allow patients to be more active in how they participate in their care. The health authority believes that with the introduction of the tablets, patients will be able to spend their last weeks of life comfortable in their own homes, and not in the hospital environment.

Island Health Telehealth Specialist Lisa Saffarek said that the end goal is to provide coverage for anyone who needs end of life care, and not just on the North Island.

As much as we have those remote isolated communities around Mount Waddington where we started, an 80 year old who doesn’t have access to a car who maybe has intermittent family support living with end stage heart failure in some places, along a bus route can be considered remote too,” said Saffarek.

We are really looking forward to this simply being an option beyond the telephone and an in person community health nurse.”