September 2018 — While survey results show that most Canadians prefer to die at home, a report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) shows that few Canadians (15%) receive palliative home care in their last month of life (based on available data).

Palliative care helps address the needs of people with life-limiting conditions to improve their quality of life and that of their families. Little comparable information currently exists on how this type of care is delivered across the country. CIHI’s report Access to Palliative Care in Canada provides baseline information on what we know about palliative care services in the last year of life, on whether Canadians have equitable and timely access to appropriate services and on gaps in this area of health care.

Other key findings in CIHI’s new report:

  • People who received palliative home care in their last year of life were 2.5 times more likely to die at home than other home care clients.
  • Early access to palliative care is effective in reducing emergency department visits and intensive care unit stays at the end of life.