There is nothing quite like a global pandemic to remind us of the importance of talking about our health-care wishes. Healthy or not, it is not unusual for us to put off these conversations as they can be uncomfortable, but saving them for later can mean making difficult decisions during a crisis. In reality, when a health crisis occurs, we can't always express what we would be willing to go through.
When we proactively have these conversations, it helps our loved ones understand our wishes and make sometimes difficult care decisions.
Advance care planning conversations are not about dying, but rather define how we want to live. It is much like taking out car insurance or home insurance. We hope that we don't need to use it anytime soon, but we prepare ourselves for what might lie ahead.
April 16 is Advance Care Planning Day. All Canadians are asked to set aside time between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. to talk openly with family, friends and loved ones about what brings meaning to our lives and to plan ahead.
Please take the time, both for yourself and for those you care about.
"Do you remember when _______ was hospitalized? That made me realize that if anything were to happen to me, I would like you to know what really matters to me."
"[This pandemic or this news event] has really made me realize that we don't always know what's around the corner. I think it's important that we talk about what really matters to us, so that we're prepared in case our health changes suddenly."
A card-based game to test your family and friends knowledge. Sit with your loved ones or your substitute decision maker and ask any of the 10 questions in this not-so-trivial pursuit of clarifying your wishes and values for your future care.
For other resources, check out the Speak Up Canada campaign at www.advancecareplanning.ca. Documenting and sharing your Advance Care Plan is easy with “My Plan"