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Why is an advanced care plan important?


By Susan Fisher and Tammy Adams


Advanced Care Planning is the process by which individuals outline their preferences for future medical care, including end-of-life decisions, to ensure their wishes are respected if they become unable to communicate. This is not a fun process but one which could save you and your family a lot of time and hassle.

Advanced care planning is an important process for seniors, to ensure their healthcare preferences and wishes are known and respected as they age. This proactive approach empowers individuals to make decisions about their future medical care, providing clarity and peace of mind, for themselves and their loved ones.

One of the main reasons why advanced care planning is important, is for seniors to maintain their autonomy and control over their healthcare decisions, even if they become unable to communicate or make choices independently. By documenting their preferences for medical treatments, interventions, and end-of-life care, seniors can ensure their wishes are honoured, alleviating the decision-making for family members during times of crisis.

Advanced care planning facilitates important conversations, between the individual, their families, and healthcare providers. These discussions enable seniors to express their values, beliefs, and goals for care which fosters a shared understanding and mutual respect among all parties involved. By openly addressing topics, such as: life-sustaining treatments, resuscitation preference, and palliative care options, seniors can help alleviate potential conflicts and ensure their care aligns with their values and wishes.

By completing an advanced care plan, seniors can appoint a trusted individual as their power of attorney or substitute decision maker. This designated person can advocate for the senior’s wishes and make medical decisions on their behalf, if they are unable to do so themselves. By selecting someone who understands their preferences and values, they can feel confident their wishes will be protected and respected, no matter the circumstance.

Need more information on how to go about creating your Advanced Care Plan? Below are some websites with excellent information:

Tammy and Susan run Silver Lights Senior Services, a family-owned and operated seniors’ homecare company serving the City of Kawartha Lakes, Courtice, Bowmanville, Oshawa, Whitby, Port Perry and Uxbridge. Adult Day Program for Dementia is located in Lindsay, ON. Find them on Facebook and Instagram or visit their website at www.silverlightsseniorservices.com. To book services, call Tammy, at 705 308 1940, or to register for the Day Program, call Susan, at 705 324 2911.

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