WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO PREPARE AN ADVANCE CARE PLAN?
I have an advance care directive, not because I have a serious illness, but because I have a family.
– Ira Byock, MD
We can never be sure of what tomorrow will bring. A health crisis may affect you or a family member at any time. Advance care planning allows you to have a voice in the care you receive if you are unable to speak for yourself.
Having the conversation about advance care planning means reflecting on your values, beliefs, and wishes to make your own health care decisions across your lifespan. By documenting your wishes and communicating them to your loved ones, health care team, and family physician, they will be better able to act on your behalf.
Of course, you may never need your advance care plan. However, if you do, you and your family will be relieved you took the time to do it. Making health decisions is not something you want to do in crisis. Completing your advance care plan ensures your voice will be heard when you cannot speak for yourself. An advance care plan is a gift to your loved ones. It will guide them and your health care providers so they can be confident the decisions they may need to make on your behalf are the decisions you want. Your advance care document is a “living document”. You can review and make changes any time you feel it necessary.
Conversations about advance care planning are taking place in homes and communities on the coast, throughout the province and across the country. Don’t you think it’s time for you to “join the conversation”?
Consider these facts
% of Canadians who . . .
- think discussing death with a loved one is important: 95%
- have done so: 30%
- who have taken concrete action: 16%
source: Canadian Medical Association
In what group do you want to belong?
*The basis for this information comes via the Comox Valley Advance Care Planning, with gratitude. All images are courtesy of CVACP except where otherwise noted.