The West Island Palliative Care Residence has started a unique program.
They’ve invited teenagers into the residence to learn more about end-of-life care.
“It’s empowering and bringing awareness to teenagers, between the ages of 14 to 18, on what palliative care is; what are some of the end-of-life issues, what’s grief and loss, what are the tools you can use to help you cope?” said Executive Director Teresa Dellar.
The five-day program will give teens who are interested in medical-related fields, the chance to experience end-of-life care first-hand.
“Even though summer is supposed to be super fun, you would see it as a classroom-setting more, but if you pay attention it’s very interesting and actually a lot of fun,” said 15-year-old Diana Schecter.
Students take part in guided discussions with professionals, interact with the residence team, patients and families.
“I was a bit scared, I was like oh my gosh, what if I see someone dying or something,” said 14-year-old Sophia Calvel. “But now, I’m a bit more comfortable.”
The residence says they are hoping the program helps train our future generation of professionals.
“This age group, this generation, are going to be the ones that are caring for grandparents, great grandparents, with the aging population and the growth of the popular over 65,” said Dellar. “These are the kids that are going to be caring for people.”
Although the students say they are enjoying the experience, they all agree that their view of end-of-life care has changed.
“It’s more of a place to live and not to die,” said 14-year-old John Bedirian. “It’s more like, you have to make these last days count and not be afraid of dying.”