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Advance Care Planning

Communicate

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Communicate your wishes and values about healthcare.

The most important part of advance care planning will likely be the conversations that you’ll have over time with your agent, loved ones, and healthcare team. Talking about your health with loved ones may be hard, but understanding your wishes ahead of time will help them should the time come. It will help make an already stressful and uncertain time a bit easier.

These conversations can also help decide the medical approach to your care, or Goals of Care Designation, that best reflects your wishes and health circumstances.

Your wishes and values may change over time or with changes in your health, so be sure to let your agent, loved ones, or healthcare team know.

“I spoke with my son about my advance care plan. At first he wasn’t keen. He tried to tell me I was needlessly worrying, and that I am fit and healthy. I know he gets upset thinking of a time when I won’t be here. I explained that I intend to stay well, but in case something happens and I can’t speak for myself, I want him to be comfortable making medical decisions with my doctors.

I was able to tell him what I value about my health and what my priorities are if I get very sick or when I’m dying. But, more importantly I know he won’t feel burdened or worried about making the right decisions for me, because now he knows the kinds of things that I value in my health.

Later, I called the rest of my family. I wanted to make sure they knew my son was my agent and what we’d talked about. I don’t want any misunderstandings when I’m sick.”

 

Current as of: April 2, 2018

Author: Palliative and End of Life Care Team, Alberta Health Services