Who would you trust to make personal healthcare decisions for you if you could not, is a question Chilliwack Hospice Society is asking residents to consider on Advance Care Planning Day, April 16, 2024.

Reflecting on what matters most in your life and how that might help guide someone in making the kinds of healthcare decisions you would want can be both helpful and decrease stress for you and your caregiver(s).

Advance care planning is a process of thinking about your values, beliefs, and wishes for future health and personal care, and sharing them with the people you trust. It can include choosing who would make care decisions for you if you cannot. Advance care planning can help you get the care that’s right for you, even if you’re unable to speak for yourself.

As an important part of life planning—like planning for education, retirement or saving for a vacation⁠—every adult in BC should engage in advance care planning. When life happens, a person’s health can change in an instant. It’s more important than ever to talk to those they trust about their values, beliefs and wishes, to prepare for a time when they may no longer be able make their own medical decisions.

According to 2021 data from the BC Centre for Palliative Care, 76% of British Columbians agree it is important to talk about what matters for the future healthcare, however less than half of those surveyed have discussed their wishes with family and still fewer (14%) have a had a conversation with a health care provider.

“We are encouraging members of the Chilliwack community to start talking about their wishes for their future care,” says Laurie McNaught, Community Outreach and Education Manager at Chilliwack Hospice Society. “These conversations are not easy ones to have, but they are very important, and there are resources and support available.”

Chilliwack Hospice Society offers free, two-part in-person workshops to help you or your parent(s) develop an Advance Care Plan, including one’s Beliefs, Values and Wishes, Temporary Substitute Decision Maker, Representation Agreement, and Advance Directive. The next sessions are scheduled for August 15 and 22 from 1:00–3:00pm at Chilliwack Hospice Society, located at 7112 Vedder Road. Pre-registration is required.

To learn more about advance care planning and a variety of educational workshops and presentations offered by Chilliwack Hospice Society throughout the year, please call (604) 795-4660 or go to www.chilliwackhospice.org