Kingston residents send national message about Advance Care Planning

News / Patient Care
By MARY ANNE BEAUDETTE

April 6, 2017

There’s a distinctly local face to this year’s National Advance Care Planning Day campaign.

The Canada-wide initiative, which takes place on Sunday, April 16, is being launched this week with a new video featuring five Kingston residents who talk about how they are planning for their future medical care when they won’t be able to speak for themselves.

“I really wanted the kids to know what my wishes were, so that if something did happen to me they wouldn't be conflicted,” says Lori Weber, who appears in the video with her adult daughter Stacey, who is also Lori’s substitute decision maker, and who will advocate on her mother’s behalf in the event that her mother cannot.  

Developed by Advance Care Planning in Canada Initiative, the national recognition day reminds people to talk about their wishes for future care. “It’s about letting their substitute decision maker, and their community of family and friends, know what’s important to them,” says Dr. Daren Heyland, one of the founding members of the Initiative’s Task Group and a KGH Research Institute clinician-scientist specializing in critical and end-of-life care.  

“This year’s national day coincides with Easter, when families and friends are getting together,” he adds. “It’s the perfect time for all of us to have the conversation.” 

Kingston resident Yessica Rivera-Belsham says that  she has seen, firsthand, how advance care planning provides comfort for all involved in these difficult decisions. “There's a lot of weight that's lifted off of people's shoulders when it is addressed, when it is talked about,” she says.  

For video participants Elspeth and Don Christie, advance care planning is about easing the burden for loved ones. “I just sort of know in my heart that is really important, not just for the person that’s dying, but for all the people around them,” says Elspeth.

The “Talking to #mycommunity” video, found on Advance Care Planning Canada’s Speak Up website and on Youtube,  is part of a large library of videos and other on-line resources on the topic, including a downloadable workbook, wallet cards, and conversation-starters , as well as legal information for each province and territory.

The site also includes links to research in advance care planning and end of life care, including studies conducted by Dr. Heyland, and by the Canadian Frailty Network, headed by Dr. John Muscedere, a KGHRI clinician-scientist and a professor of Critical Care Medicine at Queen’s University.

 

Contact:

Sarah Levesque
Communications and Policy Advisor
Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (CHPCA)
T: (613) 241-3663 ext. 229 or 1(800) 668-2785
mailto:SarLevesque@chpca.net