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Palliative care program

The Yukon Palliative Care Program provides clinical and psychosocial (cultural, emotional, mental, social) support to Yukoners (and their families) living with a life-limiting illness, with the goal of achieving the best possible quality of life, until the end of life.

The Palliative Care program is also available to provide support, consultation and education to primary health care teams throughout the territory. Palliative care honours a person’s choice and responds not only to their physical care, but also to their spiritual, cultural and psychosocial needs, as well as those of their family. Palliative care throughout Yukon is not limited to one location but can be provided in a variety of care settings, including Whitehorse General Hospital, Continuing Care facilities, and a person’s home.

The palliative care resource team includes a registered nurse, social worker, community liaison coordinator, and a consultant palliative care physician.

Services include:

  • physical, psychosocial and spiritual assessments as appropriate;
  • pain and symptom management, includingsymptoms which are hard to control or to deal with;
  • complex care situations;
  • discharge planning support; in particular, to the communities;
  • public and professional training and education; and
  • supporting issues of loss, grief and bereavement.


Individuals living with a life-limiting illness who wish to improve or maintain their quality of life may refer themselves for Palliative Care services, or have someone else call on their behalf.

For more information please call 867-456-6807
Toll-free in the Yukon: 1 (800) 861-0408, extension 6807

Yukon Palliative Care Framework

The Yukon Palliative Care Framework outlines the principles that form an integrated palliative care model for the territory. It is intended to be a highlevel document that sets the course for current and future development of palliative care services. The framework recognizes the many services and organizations involved in the delivery of quality hospice, palliative and end-of-life care. These organizations include First Nation governments, the three acute care hospitals, continuing care facilities, home care, community nursing and other services provided by the Yukon government, as well as NGOs, such as Hospice Yukon, and other community organizations.

Palliative care resources for patients and families

  • Palliative Care Program Handbill (pdf)
  • Making a Health Care Decision for a Loved One (pdf)
  • Planning for Your Future Healthcare Choices (pdf)
  • [Fill out form] Emergency Medical Information Form (pdf)
  • [Fill out form] Abbreviated Advance Directive Form (pdf)

Advance Care Planning in Canada

Advance care planning is a time for you to reflect on your values and wishes, and to let others know your future health and personal care preferences in the event that you become incapable of consenting to or refusing treatment or other care.

Advance Care Planning in Canada
Advance care planning is a time for you to reflect on your values and wishes, and to let others know your future health and personal care preferences in the event that you become incapable of consenting to or refusing treatment or other care.

Canadian Virtual Hospice
A source of information and support for family and friends of individuals with life-limiting illnesses.

Hospice Yukon Society
Hospice enhances quality of life through skilled and compassionate end-of-life care, education, advocacy and bereavement support to individuals and their families.
409 Jarvis St., Whitehorse, YT
(867) 667-7429

The Palliative Care Team

Team members include: Program Manager, Palliative Care Physician, Registered Nurse, Social Worker and Education and Community Liaison Coordinator.

Clinical Tools

The following clinical tools are commonly used in end-of-life care:

Palliative Performance Scale (PPS)
The PPS is designed to allow health care professionals to measure performance status at the end of life based on five objective indicators.
Palliative Performance Scale

Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS)
The ESAS is designed to help health care professionals assess common symptoms at the end of life. The ESAS elicits the patient’s subjective perception using a numerical scale.
Edmonton Symptom Assessment System

CAGE: Ewing, J.W. (1984). Detecting alcoholism: The CAGE questionnaire. JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association, 252, 1905-1907.
The CAGE is a brief screening tool to assess for the risk of alcoholism. Co-occurring symptoms and substance use issues at the end of life require careful management. Screening for the risk factors is important.

The Pain Assessment in Advanced Dementia (PAINAD) was developed to assess pain in patients who are cognitively impaired, non-communicative, or suffering from dementia and unable to use self-report methods to describe pain. Observation of patients during activity records behavioural indicators of pain: breathing, negative vocalization, facial expression, body language, and consolability.

Bowel Management Guidelines: Victoria Hospice:

Psychosocial Assessment Tool: Victoria Hospice:

Fraser Health: Hospice Palliative Care Program Symptom Guidelines:

O-V Symptom (pain) acronym Assessment Scale

Continuing Education

The Palliative Care Program offers a variety of opportunities for health care providers and family caregivers to engage in education and training in palliative care.

Essentials in Hospice Palliative Care
(pre-requisite to LEAP)
FOR: Nurses, social workers, therapists
Offered twice a year
Next workshop: TBA

LEAP Learning Essential Approaches to Palliative and End of Life Care
FOR: Physicians, nurses and pharmacists
Next workshop: TBA

NHA Palliative Care Training
Two-day workshop, offered twice a year
Next workshop: TBA

Palliative Care Telehealth Training for Home Support Workers and Home and Community Care Workers
Modules available to interested communities

Brown bag Telehealth information series for all community members
Guest speakers present on a variety of topics

Community Education and Training in Palliative Care:
Provided by request or on a needs basis for all caregivers

For information on education and training opportunities please call 456-6807 from Whitehorse, or 1-800-661-0408, ext. 6807 from communities outside Whitehorse.

Information for Health Care Professionals

The Yukon Palliative Care Program offers expertise in end-of-life care management to assist and support a patient’s primary care team. Using standardized palliative assessment tools patients receive a comprehensive physical and psychosocial assessment.

Assessments: For palliative patients who need symptom management in hospital, Continuing Care facilities, or in their homes in all Yukon communities. The Palliative Care team can augment and support the care being provided by physicians and front-line nursing staff by providing a comprehensive palliative assessment and patient/family support.

Psychosocial Assessments: For patients and families dealing with end-of-life management and issues of loss and grief.

Discharge Planning: For patients with a life-limiting diagnosis who are returning to their home community outside of Whitehorse, including case management, caregiver and bereavement support.

Professional education and training: please refer to continuing education tab.


Individuals living with a life-limiting illness who wish to improve or maintain their quality of life.

Families can also be referred.

Palliative care resources for Patients and Families

Compassionate Care Benefits
The Compassionate Care Benefit is available through Employmnet Insurance for family members of individuals who are terminally ill.

The Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association
CHPCA is the national voice for hospice palliative care in Canada. Advancing and advocating for quality end-of-life/hospice palliative care in Canada, its work includes public policy, public education and awareness.  

Hospice Yukon
Hospice Yukon provides programs and services that can help you to better understand the profound journey of living, dying and grieving. And help you to better support yourself and others.

Living Lessons
A national initiative providing resources for patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals involved with end-of-life care in Canada.

Palliative care info-sheet for seniors
(Public Health Agency of Canada)

First Nations Resources
Caring for the Terminally Ill: Honouring the Choices of the People, is designed to support Aboriginal people and their caregivers in rural and remote communities living with life-threatening illness.

Victoria Hospice Society
Information for caregivers on end-of-life care, including pamphlets and educational opportunities.

Yukon Advance Directive
A legal tool designed to help you appoint a proxy and record your health care wishes should you become incapable expressing them.


Contact info

Palliative care program

Phone: 867-456-6807

Toll Free (Yukon, Nunavut and NWT); 1-800-661-0408 ext. 6807

Fax: 867-393-6328

Mailing Address:

Palliative care program (H-109)
Health & Social Services, Government of Yukon
Box 2703
Whitehorse, Yukon  Y1A 2C6

Location: 109-B Copper Road | Whitehorse, Yukon [map]


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