Find information on palliative care

What is palliative care?

Palliative care is a specialized approach to care for individuals and families living with a life-limiting illness. Often their illness is at an advanced stage. The goal of a palliative approach to care is to provide comfort and dignity. This approach aims to improve quality of life for both this person and their family. 

Palliative care addresses:

  • physical issues;
  • psychological issues;
  • social issues;
  • spiritual issues; 
  • practical issues;
  • an individual's and family's expectations; and
  • an individual's and family's needs, hopes and fears.

Who benefits from a palliative approach to care?

People with life-limiting illnesses benefit from a palliative approach to care. So do their families. A palliative approach to care can begin early. It may start from the time someone receives a palliative diagnosis all the way through end-of-life care. Palliative care helps those living with life-limiting diseases such as:

  • cancer;
  • advanced heart disease;
  • respiratory disease;
  • kidney disease;
  • Alzheimer’s disease;
  • AIDS;
  • ALS; and
  • multiple sclerosis.

Where is palliative care offered in Yukon?

Palliative care is offered in a variety of places:

  • at home;
  • in hospitals;
  • in long-term care homes; and
  • at Wind River Hospice House in Whitehorse.

People living with a palliative diagnosis are often cared for at home by their family and friends. Often they are also supported by health services in the community. At certain times, it may not be possible to manage care at home for a variety of reasons.

In these situations, palliative care is usually provided by health-care professionals. This can happen in the hospital, in long-term care homes or at Wind River Hospice House. This includes short or longer stays in one of these settings. The length of stay often depends on the person and on their family's goals.

No matter where they are cared for, the person and their family remain at the centre of care. This approach ensures the care they receive reflects their values, wishes and preferences.

Wind River Hospice House

Care at Wind River Hospice House

Wind River Hospice House is in located at Whistle Bend Place long-term care home in Whitehorse. It provides end-of-life care to Yukoners in a home-like setting. Care is available 24-hours a day. Wind River Hospice House has 8 beds for stays of approximately 3 months or less, and 4 beds for short respite stays of 2-4 weeks.

What is our philosophy of care?

Wind River Hospice House provides a safe environment that places value on quality of life and comfort. Hospice care accepts death as an inevitable part of living. This approach respects a person's right to die with grace and dignity. It neither hastens nor prolongs a person’s dying process. The goal of medical care is to provide comfort and symptom relief. Friends and family are supported to continue to take part in the care of their loved one. They are encouraged to access support for themselves as well.

Who is Wind River Hospice House for?

Wind River Hospice House provides care for:

  • adults with a clearly life-limiting illness in its advanced stages;
  • adults with a prognosis of 3 months or less; and
  • adults with a prognosis of less than 12 months who require a brief respite care stay.

Adults with a prognosis of longer than 3 months will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Who can receive respite care?

Respite care is for anyone with a palliative diagnosis and a prognosis of 12 months or less. The average length of stay is 2–4 weeks.

Respite care gives a person’s regular caregivers a break from providing that care. It is also a chance for a person to get to know the staff and the Hospice House. This can be helpful if the person is admitted to Wind River House later for end-of-life care.

Who can be admitted?

You can access Wind River Hospice House if you:

  • are an adult (18 and over);
  • are lawfully entitled to be, or remain, in Canada;
  • have a valid Yukon Health Care Insurance Plan card;
  • are a Yukon resident;
  • have a do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order in place; and
  • have a referral from a health-care professional.

People under 18 years of age will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

What is the cost?

The cost to stay at Wind River Hospice House is $40 per day.

Palliative Care Resource Team

Through education, consultation and health-system navigation, our team provides supports and resources to:

  • health care providers;
  • Yukoners living with a life-threatening illness;
  • those who are approaching end of life;
  • family members; and
  • caregivers.

We’re here to:

  • help you navigate the health care system to best support your needs;
  • provide palliative care education to support health care professionals; and
  • support care providers with:
    • best practice information;
    • assessment tools; and
    • clinical advice.

While the team does not coordinate primary care, we do assist existing care providers or help link people to the right services.

We offer the following educational opportunities to health care providers:

  • essentials in palliative care for registered and non-registered health care professionals;
  • pallium learning essential approaches in palliative care (LEAP) course;
  • self-study courses;
  • online modules;
  • public education sessions, including sessions on advance care planning and dementia care; and
  • tailored sessions upon request.

Palliative care resources

We offer resources to:

  • health care providers;
  • patients with a palliative diagnosis;
  • family members; and
  • caregivers.

To request a consultation with the palliative care resource team

  1. Fill out the Palliative care resource team consult request form.
  2. Submit the form.
    Fax: 867-667-9332

To have your care provider or home care coordinator refer you to a continuing care facility or the community day program

  1. Fill out the Continuing care facility or community day program referral form.
  2. Submit the form.
    Fax: 867-456-6744

To have your care provider refer you to the hospice program

  1. Fill out the Hospice referral form.
  2. Submit the form.
    Fax: 867-456-6744


For individuals, families and caregivers

For health care providers



If you have questions about palliative care email, phone 867-667-9380 or fax 867-667-9332.

If you have questions about Wind River Hospice House, phone 867-667-9367 for the nurses station.

If you have questions about Whistle Bend Place, phone 867-667-9300.

Government of Yukon
Palliative Care Resource Team (H-24)
Box 2703
Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 2C6