Every Year, April 16 Marks Advance Care Planning Day in Canada
In 2020, we recognized how things can change in an instant. How life is unpredictable, and we have the opportunity to make decisions about our health that can affect and support those around us. It created an opportunity to reflect on our health and recognize that everyday values and decisions can have a great impact.
Advance Care Planning is the process of thinking and talking about your wishes, values, and preferences for your future care in the event you are unable to speak for yourself. Decide who would speak for you — choose your Substitute Decision Maker.
On Advance Care Planning Day, Canadians are encouraged to set aside time between 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. to talk openly with family, friends and loved ones. Tell them what would be most important to you in a health care emergency. Tell them what brings you joy. Above all, tell them about your values and wishes.
What is Advance Care Planning?
Advance Care Planning is a way to help you think about, talk about and document your wishes for health care. It is a process that can assist you in making health care decisions now and for the future.
What are the benefits?
If there is a time when you are unable to speak for yourself, it is important that your loved ones and your cancer care team understand your wishes for health care. None of us know what tomorrow might bring, nor can we predict our future health. Planning today can ensure that your wishes are known, no matter what the future holds. Advance Care Planning may bring comfort and peace of mind to you, your loved ones, and to those who may have to make health care decisions on your behalf.
Who is it for?
Everyone. We can all benefit from Advance Care Planning. If an unexpected event or change in your health occurs and you are unable to make decisions about your health care, planning in advance ensures your wishes will be known.
When is a good time to start?
Now. It is important to begin Advance Care Planning conversations before you face a crisis or become seriously ill. As a guideline we recommend this discussion prior to starting any treatments, or as treatment or care plans change.
For more information about advance care planning, visit AdvanceCarePlanningInCancer.ca.