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It’s Time to Start the Conversation: Chatham-Kent Health Alliance Hosts Advance Care Planning Day

CHATHAM-KENT, ON: April 11, 2014 -- Wednesday April 16th marks National Advance Care Planning Day and once again, Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA) will be sponsoring displays and information for both the staff and public. This year, CKHA wants to remind you that “Advance Care Planning is for Everyone” – regardless of your age or state of health. No one knows what the future holds, and a health crisis may affect you or someone you love at any time. 

Engaging in Advance Care Planning (ACP) helps you to have a say about the care you would like to receive if you are very sick or injured and cannot speak for yourself. It is a way for you to reflect on your personal values, wishes and beliefs in order to direct your future healthcare decisions. ACP is not so much about producing a piece of paper, as it is about an ongoing conversation with your family or loved ones. 

Who will speak for you if you cannot speak for yourself? ACP assists you to choose your Substitute Decision Maker should you be incapable of making decisions about your own care. It encourages you to discuss your wishes with them, as well as with your doctor or health care provider. This is especially important if you suffer from chronic or life-threatening illness. 

Think about what’s right for you, according to your own beliefs and values. Where do you want to live as you age? Where do you hope to die? What does quality of life look like for you? Are there certain medical interventions you would want or not want if you were unlikely to survive or live independently? Do you have questions or fears about your medical conditions? Have you talked to your doctor about these? 

Answers to questions like these can change many times throughout the changes in your life and health. Making decisions for a loved one who cannot speak for themselves is stressful for families, but can be made easier if a person’s wishes are discussed while they are still able to make them known. 

“Last year we had a number of people drop by who found the information very helpful,” said Michelle O’Rourke, Unit Clinical Director in the Emergency Department and Co-chair of CKHA’s ACP initiative. “Chatham-Kent Health Alliance is committed to respecting the beliefs and values of our patients and their families and we are here to help.” 

Drop by on April 16th between 9 am and 3 pm for free resources and assistance in understanding how to initiate your own Advance Care Plan. You will be glad you did! For more information about ACP visit www.advancecareplanning.ca 

For more information contact: 
Michelle O’Rourke, Unit Clinical Leader, Emergency Department 
Chatham-Kent Health Alliance 
519-437-6050

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