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Who will speak for you when you can’t?

07 April 2017

April 16: National Advance Care Planning Day - What if you became ill and couldn’t speak for yourself? Would your family, close friends and health-care providers – your community – know your wishes for your health care? Do they know who you want to speak for you?

Thinking and talking about your values, beliefs and wishes as they relate to health care, and what health-care treatments you would or would not want, will help you get the care that’s right for you when you need it – that’s what an Advance Care Plan can do for you.

One woman who came to a Coast Hospice workshop last fall said, “It’s reassuring to know my wishes would be considered in my health care.”

April 16 is National Advance Care Planning Day – it’s an invitation to consider your thoughts and ideas about your future health care.

The good news is that British Columbians are thinking about their future health-care decisions, but less than half have talked it over with family and friends and fewer still have documented their wishes or shared them with their doctor. A 2016 Mustel telephone poll commissioned by the BC Centre for Palliative Care found:

• 79 per cent have thought about who would make decisions for them if needed.

• 71 per cent have thought about what matters most for their health care.

• 49 per cent have talked with their family about their health-care wishes.

• 21 per cent have documented or recorded their health-care wishes.

• Only 10 per cent have talked with their doctor about their health-care wishes.

The Sunshine Coast Hospice Society is one of 23 hospice societies working with the BC Centre for Palliative Care to increase public awareness of Advance Care Planning. 

Coast Hospice is using an innovative game, “Hello,” to explore end-of-life questions on April 11, where participants can consider various scenarios to help them better understand their own wishes.

For the full article, visit Coast Reporter

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