It can be a scary thing to think and talk about, but ever so necessary — and it’s something for people of any age, not only the elderly or individuals diagnosed with an illness. I’m talking about Advance Care Planning — three little words that have a major impact on your life, and that of your loved ones.
April 16 is Advance Care Planning Day across Canada and we encourage everyone in the brain tumour community to take part! This is a day for you to reflect on your health care wishes and values. It’s critical to have this conversation so that if ever you become incapable of consenting to or refusing treatment, your directions for personal care can be followed.
What is Advance Care Planning?
In essence, it’s the discussions you have and the plans you put in place to ensure your wishes for health care are followed in the future. This can include discussions with family members and health care teams, or even an actual written document that outlines your preferences. It also means identifying someone as your Substitute Decision Maker, to act as your representative if ever you’re unable to communicate your wishes. Advance Care Planning is different in every province, just like our health care, so it’s important you know what’s available to you. You can find provincial/territory resources on AdvanceCarePlanning.ca.
There’s a lot of information available online about Advance Care Planning, but a great place to start is this short video from Speak Up Canada! about the 5 Steps of Advance Care Planning:
And don’t forget, on April 16, to follow the hashtag #ACPDay2015 on Twitter for tips, facts and more about Advance Care Planning.