FAQs

Palliative Care training is already included in our curriculum. Why do we need your materials?

Every one of your students will be providing Palliative Care in their career and it is one of the most stressful components of caregiving. The Quality End-of-Life Care Coalition of Canada reports that over the next 10 years professional education will be even more important in a systems-wide approach to hospice palliative and end-of-life care.

Research shows that people often remember what is said and done at the bedside of their loved ones last hours and days. Preparing your students using these resources will better enable them to be confident, competent and compassionate employees when they graduate.

In addition, your instructors can dovetail the materials throughout the course. There are many areas that can be used to strengthen current curriculum.

Your students will come into the field better prepared to care for all their patients and especially the dying, as well as for themselves. These materials are not a one-time read as they can be taken into the field with them after the course ends and refer back to them as required.

Over 150 colleges and organizations are currently using our materials.

We don’t have the time / have limited time to teach this. Is there instructor support?

We understand that there is limited time to teach this material in addition to your current curriculum. Our new materials link with Canadian Educational Standards and the Ontario Personal Support Worker Program Standard: Vocational Learning Outcomes which much be part of your current course, so Palliative Care instruction is a requirement.

We are aware of the shortage of time, and so have provided open access to the complete podcast library which gives students the opportunity to learn the material outside of the classroom and prepares them for in-class studies. We also have an Instructor’s Guide, videos and PowerPoint teaching presentations to assist instructors in teaching this material effectively. your instructors will have a standardized teaching approach for this material. We also offer webinars, on site education, and teleconferences to help your instructors feel confident in teaching the materials.

With the aging population and increased demands on beds in residential care, there is a decrease in length of stay in long term care facilities. At least 20% of residents die each year. Length of stay is less than 18 months, and 70-90% of direct care is provided by PSWs. Focus is on the integration of a palliative approach from the time of admission through to time of death. This is an important part of the work of personal support workers.

I'm having trouble downloading the PPT's, Instructors Guide or Podcasts

Please ensure that you have the most up-to-date browser version installed on your computer. If you are accessing these from a work / company computer, please check with your IT department first to confirm that you have access to lifeanddeathmatters.ca, SoundCloud.com and Dropbox.com. IT departments often restrict access to just their intranet plus very limited internet access

Podcasts – Our podcasts are hosted on SoundCloud. Please ensure that you’re using the most up-to-date browser as there are some known issues with older browser versions. You can listen and download the podcasts directly from our SoundCloud channel if you can’t download on our website.

PPT’s – Our PowerPoints are hosted on Dropbox due to the large file size. You do not need a Dropbox account to download these. Simply navigate to the PowerPoint Teaching Presentations page on our website, scroll down and click on DOWNLOAD beside the version you wish to download. You will then be taken to the Dropbox site where you can choose to Download or save to your Dropbox account.

For any other issues with downloading resources, please contact us.

Why are the new Canadian books more expensive than the previous editions?

  1. Updated content
  2. Specifically written to meet new Canadian Standards and Ontario Vocational Learning Outcomes
  3. Complimentary learning materials (podcasts & videos) are now available as free downloads
  4. Developed to address diverse learning styles
  5. Artistically illustrated
  6. Full Colour
  7. Easier to read
  8. More stories, real life examples, varied exercises
  9. More consistent writing style
  10. Improved layout and flow of content

The materials have received exceptional reviews from a variety of experts in the field. Students will continue to use these materials long after graduation and can refer back to the resources throughout their career.

Do you offer wholesale pricing?

Yes. We offer a 20% discount to colleges and organizations ordering both the text and the companion workbook as a package. As added value, access to the complete podcast library is now included in this price and can be accessed by both students and instructors. We also have the free PowerPoint teaching presentations, Instructors Guide and videos – all of which can be accessed here.

Are you a non-profit?

No, we are a private company based in Victoria, BC. Profits from the sales of our books and materials fund further research and development so that we can continue to make headway in palliative care education.

Why did you choose Personal Support Worker for the name of the newest Canadian materials?

Front line caregivers go by many titles depending upon their role and the province where they receive their education –  Personal Support Workers, Unregulated Health Care Providers, Home Support Workers, Health Care Aides, Nurses Aides, Nursing Assistants, Continuing Care Assistants, etc. We looked at different terms and because the majority of our colleges who use our materials (in Canada) are in Ontario where PSW is the title of these caregivers, we chose to use PSW. We also feel it’s a beautiful way to describe caregivers in that:

  • the work we do is so Personal
  • we do provide Support, and
  • this is Work.


We do acknowledge (on both the front and the back of the text) that the materials are for all caregivers of different titles.

Do you have online courses?

Our online course are currently being updated. If you’re interested in online palliative care education courses, please leave your information and we will contact you once the courses are available again online.

I am a nurse/social worker/chaplain/volunteer looking for education in hospice palliative care, thanatology, death, dying and bereavement. What do you recommend?

The Integrating a Palliative Approach: Essentials for Personal Support Workers (CAD) or the Essentials in Hospice and Palliative Care: A Resource For Nursing Assistants (USA) would be an excellent starting point for you. Although these books were written for Personal Support Workers and Nursing Assistants the material covers the basics of caring for those who are dying, their families and you, the caregiver.

We have free tools including a complete podcast library and videos, as well, to enhance your learning.

Our online course(s) will be available again towards the of 2016.

If you’re looking for more in-depth education, in Canada we are fortunate to have a great program at King’s University College (London, Ontario, Canada) that offers a Certificate Program in Grief and Bereavement Studies, Thanatology courses and Thanatology degree programs. The courses can be completed in one year as a full time student, or can be completed as a part time student over a few years. The courses can be done on site or by distance with some residency requirements.

The courses include:

  • Palliative Care
  • Loss and Grief and Bereavement
  • Children and Death
  • Grief and Trauma
  • Ethics
  • Diversity and Social Justice

The teachers are leaders in the field, many with clinical backgrounds.
For more information, download their brochure.

Our new PN text will be released by Jan 2016. You can join our enewsletter list to stay up to date and be the first to know when we launch new resources.