April 16 is National Advance Care Planning Day

Published on: 2012/04/17 - in Releases

The Southeastern Ontario Palliative & End-of-Life Care Network, along with many other national, provincial/territorial and local organizations, is encouraging Canadians to think and talk about their wishes for end-of-life care on April 16th – National Advance Care Planning Day.

“Imagine, one day, without any warning, you find yourself in a hospital in a life-threatening situation, unable to communicate,” says Sharon Baxter, Executive Director of the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (CHPCA) and a member of the Advance Care Planning National Task Group. “Who would speak for you and make health care decisions on your behalf?”

Advance care planning is a process of reflection and communication about personal care preferences in the event that you become incapable of consenting to or refusing treatment or other care. Your plan may include information about procedures such as CPR and mechanical ventilation, as well as other personal information, such as spiritual preferences or specific wishes for family members or friends.

One of the most important aspects of advance care planning is naming and having a conversation with a Substitute Decision Maker – someone who will speak on your behalf and make decisions for you – but only when you are not able to do so yourself.

Research has shown that advance care planning significantly reduces stress, depression and anxiety in family members and caregivers who know your wishes and can act with confidence on your behalf.

This website features a number of tools and resources to help Canadians make a plan and start the conversation with others. In Southeastern Ontario Speak Up events, speakers, hospice contacts and more can be found in the resource section of the Southeastern Ontario Palliative & End-of-Life Care Network website .

“The Speak Up campaign is a gift. Using its resources, we can learn in our own time and in our own way about advance care planning. With Speak Up, we can become comfortable having conversations that improve end-of-life care for us, our family and friends,” says Jane Good – Campaign spokesperson for the Southeastern Ontario Palliative & End-of-Life Care Network.

We need to communicate our feelings around end-of-life care and what we believe gives life meaning – to ourselves, and to those who are important to us. These are personal, individual choices that every Canadian deserves at the end-of-life. Make sure your voice is heard – Speak Up


Release source:  Southeastern Ontario Palliative & End-of-Life Care Network