Dying’s not the easiest subject to talk about, but there’s a 100-per-cent chance it’s going to happen to you.
The Comox Valley Hospice Society is urging people in our community to begin embracing the topic by using Thanksgiving as a time to have an important discussion about our wishes for end-of- life care.
“Imagine, one day, without any warning, you find yourself in a hospital in a life-threatening situation, unable to communicate,” asks Audrey Craig, CVHS president. “Who would speak for you and make health care decisions on your behalf?”
A March 2012 Ipsos-Reid national poll found that 86 per cent of Canadians have not heard of advance care planning, a process of reflection and communication about personal care preferences.
The poll also found that:
• Fewer than half have had a discussion with a family member or friend about healthcare treatments if they were ill and unable to communicate;
• Only nine per cent have ever spoken to a health-care provider about their wishes for care;
• More than 80 per cent of Canadians do not have a written plan;
• Only 46 per cent have designated someone to speak on their behalf if they could not communicate;
• Research has shown that advance care planning significantly reduces stress, depression and anxiety in family members and caregivers who know your wishes and can act with confidence on your behalf.
You can learn more about this gift of love for your family at two workshops offered at the Comox Valley Nursing Centre’s Glacier Room at 615 10th St. in Courtenay.
Oct. 21 at 7 p.m., there will be a two-hour introductory session on Having the Conversation. There will be a hands-on two-hour session designed to work though developing and advance care plan Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. at the nursing centre.
RSVP for sessions to 250-339-5533.
Resources to help Comox Valley residents make a plan and have conversations, including sample advance care plans, videos and conversation starters, are available at www.advancecareplanningcv.ca
“As health-care technologies and life saving interventions continue to improve and people live longer — many with complex medical conditions — advance care planning becomes increasingly important,” says Craig.
“We need to communicate our feelings around the use of certain procedures at the end of life, and what we believe gives our life meaning.”
— Comox Valley Hospice Society