Thursday, June 22, 2017

What are your end-of-life wishes?

April 16-22 is a week for inspiring seniors and others to start the conversation about end of life planning. This year the theme of National Healthcare Decision Week was "It always seems too early until it’s too late”. In Canada, our day for this is National Advance Care Planning Day in Canada (April 16). This year's goal was to inspire a proactive approach to planning ahead for your end-of-life wishes. Contemplating the end of your life, and outlining the kind of health and personal care you wish to receive if you were unable to speak for yourself, is not always easy, but it’s important.

Remember, it’s not just about you, it’s about ensuring that your family and friends have a clear plan to support your intentions. Advance care planning is a process of reflection and communication, and it may involve writing down your wishes and talking with healthcare providers and financial and legal advisors. If you do not have an advance care plan in place, perhaps it’s time to start the conversation?

In our COSCO Health and Wellness workshop, on this topic, we point out that if something happens to you, decisions are going to be made.  You can make them yourself or appoint somebody else to do so, but come what decisions will be made. Sometimes your mental competency may come into question because of any number of situations: stroke, dementia, brain injury from an accident.  If your mental competency is challenged and we know this happens and you haven’t made your own legal arrangements you are vulnerable to adult guardianship (which means others will make decisions about you).

Somethings to think about as you consider this topic. Personal planning lets you stay in control. The burden on your spouse, family and friends is eased. Personal planning keeps the state/government and other authorities out of your private and personal affairs.Personal planning is for all adults, those who need help today because their mental competency is in question and those who want to plan for the future

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