Advanced Care Planning- Would you go skydiving without a parachute?
Advanced care plan- Would you go through life without planning ahead? Have you planned for what would be important if you aren’t able to make decisions about your care and finances? Who would you want to do this on your behalf? Do they know you well? Will they know what to do? Not all of us parachute but we will all die someday. So what’s the use of avoiding the topic?
In September 2011, advanced care planning legislation was passed in B.C. allowing you to choose the kind of care you would like to have if you can’t speak for yourself. It also allows you to appoint someone to speak on your behalf. In essence, your advance care plan allows you to make sure that your voice is heard when you cannot speak for yourself by respecting your beliefs and values.
Contrary to some who think advance care planning is only for seniors, it is for young and old alike. Accidents, the unexpected and serious illness can happen to any of us. Did you know that 50% of Canadians have never talked to family and friends about what they’d want if they were ill and couldn’t speak for themselves?
Nothing’s more uncomfortable than a conversation about dying. When it comes to talking about dying, most of us run for the hills — but everyone of legal age should have an advance care plan. Remember, if you completed a plan before September 2011 or did so in another province, it may no longer be valid in B.C.
Many people consider an advance care plan as a gift to their loved ones — helping to guide them and your health care providers when you need it most. These plans are meant to be ‘living documents’ enabling you to regularly review and make changes when necessary. Now is the time to have the talk to your loved ones about your wishes and values and create a plan that works for you. You may never need it, but if you do, you’ll be glad it is there and that you have had these conversations.