Marking the World Hospice and Palliative Care Day

12 Oct, 2012


World Hospice and Palliative Care Day is a unified day of action to celebrate and support hospice and palliative care around the world.

The theme for World Day 2012 which will take place on 13 October is “Living to the end: palliative care for an ageing population”. 

On October 13 Open Society Georgia Foundation will join an international call for action. The Foundation will host photo exhibition “Living to the end: palliative care for an ageing population” and the presentation of the documentary movie ‘Sisters’ directed by George Nioradze, independent Georgian journalist.


World Hospice and Palliative Care Day takes place on the second Saturday of October every year and Voices for Hospices takes place on the same date every two years.

Populations are ageing with vast numbers of people around the globe living into old age. Increasingly, older people are living with and dying from multiple, chronic dehabilitating conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes cancer, dementia and HIV and AIDS. Older people must have access to appropriate care, support and treatment, which recognises their contribution to society and is tailored to their individual needs through the course of illness, including at the end of life. Unfortunately palliative care is very rarely available.

On World Hospice and Palliative Care Day 2012, urgent action is needed from UN agencies, governments, the private sector and civil society to ensure:

  • the inclusion of older people in the decision-making around their care options, including at the end of life
  • existing health policies address the unique palliative care needs of older people
  • universal access to hospice and palliative care for older people living with, and dying from, life-limiting conditions including non-communicable conditions
  • access to, and availability of, pain medications, including oral opioids, for older people worldwide
  • adequate support, training, supplies and equipment so that health professionals and carers can provide palliative care for older people in the community, in inpatient facilities and in people’s own homes
  • the advocacy agenda on active ageing promotes compassionate and dignified care for older people with life-limiting illnesses, including they are at their most vulnerable and approaching the end of life