It’s about conversations. It’s about wishes.
Who will speak for you?
Advance Care Planning (ACP) is the process of reflecting on your values and wishes, and then sharing your future personal and health care preferences in the event that you cannot speak for yourself. Included in ACP is choosing a Substitute Decision Maker who knows and will support the wishes and preferences of the patient. Having conversations about ACP also involves the development and expression of wishes for the goals of medical treatment and the continuation or discontinuation of such treatment or care.
ACP conversations at St. Joe’s between clinicians and patients helps to ensure our care is compassionate, and helps us to deliver high quality, evidence based care, that respects the diversity of the patients we serve.
April 16th is Advance Care Planning (ACP) Day
The benefits of ACP
Research has shown that advance care planning significantly reduces stress, depression and anxiety in family members and caregivers who are aware of the patient’s wishes and can act with confidence on their behalf.
- It decreases the level of distress by family
- It improves patient and family satisfaction at the end of life
- Decreases unwanted interventions
- Decreases critical care admissions if that is not the patient’s wish
ACP is not…
- Informed consent
- Just about end of life
- Associated with physician assisted dying
Who should have an Advance Care Plan?
- All patients should have a substitute decision maker (SDM)
- All patients with a chronic disease and who are at risk should have an ACP
- Patients who have a life threatening or life limiting condition
- Patients who are suffering under the burden of symptoms
Talking with your loved ones early and often is a great place to start. Get the conversation started with resources from Speak Up (http://www.advancecareplanning.ca/)