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Advance care planning is a process of reflection and communication, a time for you to reflect on your values and wishes, and to let others know your future health and personal care preferences in the event that you become incapable of consenting to or refusing treatment or other care.
Advance care planning means having discussions with family and friends, especially your Substitute Decision Maker – the person who will speak for you when you cannot. It may also include writing down your wishes, and may even involve talking with healthcare providers and financial and legal professionals.
You may never need your advance care plan – but if you do, you’ll be glad that it’s there and that you have had these conversations, to make sure that your voice is heard when you cannot speak for yourself.
Life can take many twists and turns.
One day, without any warning, you find yourself in a hospital with a life-threatening illness. You are unable to speak for yourself – you do not recognize your family or friends. Your doctors do not feel that you will leave the hospital alive. Do you want to be kept alive using machines? Who do you want to make decisions for you? Does that person know your wishes?
An advance care planning is more than a document outlining your wishes for care only at the end of life. It’s a conversation that you have with the person who will represent you if you cannot speak for yourself.
It’s a way to give your loved ones the confidence to make decisions during a difficult time. It’s how we care for each other.
The choices you make about care – for yourself and others – are important. Make sure that your voice is heard.
Videos discussing advance care planning can be found by visiting http://www.speakupontario.ca
To work through the Ontario-specific on-line workbook, visit http://www.makingmywishesknown.ca/