Last Aid

Due to demographic changes, the need for palliative care in the community and at home is expected to rise in the coming years. The care that is given by family members and general practitioners plays a vital role in basic palliative care. Knowledge in palliative care is very limited or totally absent in most communities, and information about the effects of educational procedures in teaching non-professionals in basic palliative care is sparse.

The Last Aid International Working Group has established a curriculum for the Last Aid program. The feasibility and value of the Last Aid courses for the public has been tested in pilot courses. The experiences with Last Aid courses in different countries are overall very positive. The evaluation of questionnaires in a German pilot study has shown a favorable response. Last Aid courses may form the educational basis of compassionate communities and are well-suited to inform the public about palliative care and end-of-life care. This is critically important to ensure that we are building the public’s capacity to care for one another at the end of life.

The Last Aid program is designed to provide palliative care education to the public through a series of facilitated sessions with interactive online or in-person programs. The sessions offer beginner-friendly, accessible sessions run by two trained facilitators which will engage participants and encourage more open discussion of palliative care approaches. By discussing these topics more openly at home and in their social circles we hope to normalize death and dying conversations and provide a stronger understanding and appreciation of what hospice palliative is, as well as what it is not. This broader awareness will provide more options for individuals to consider when faced with a life limiting illness.

The Last Aid program consists of four forty-five-minute modules which cover the following topics:

1.Dying as a normal part of life

2.Planning ahead

3.Relieving suffering

4.Final goodbyes

The course may be run in one 3-hour session (including breaks) or spread out over a longer period.


Looking to secure a presentation in Ontario?

If you are looking to secure a presenter to provide a Last Aid presentation for your community or organization, please email When requesting a presentation, please be sure to include your organization’s name, potential dates and times for the presentation, approximate number of attendees, and the make up of the audience (Long term care residents, students in a university program, etc.).


Upcoming Sessions:

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