National Advance Care Planning Day - April 12, 2011

www.advancecareplanning.ca

A lack of knowledge about preferences for care can result in confusion and conflict between family members and health professionals at a critical time

OTTAWA, April 7 /CNW/ - Over 25 associations across Canada have joined together to champion April 12th as National Advance Care Planning Day, a day of awareness and action for Canadians.  The Advance Care Planning National Task Force, a group representing professional organizations and non-governmental groups from across Canada, has developed the "Speak Up: Start the conversation about end-of-life care" campaign to remind Canadians to think about and talk about their wishes for end-of-life-care.

"Most of us hope to die peacefully and able to communicate with others until the very end, but death usually doesn't occur this way," says Sharon Baxter, Executive Director of the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (CHPCA) and a member of the Task Group. "Advance care planning helps others make decisions on your behalf when you cannot speak for yourself."

Advance care planning is a process of reflection and communication about personal care preferences in the event that you become incapable of consenting to or refusing treatment or other care. Your plan may include information about procedures such as CPR and mechanical ventilation, as well as other personal information, such as spiritual preferences or specific wishes for family members or friends. One of the most important aspects of advance care planning is naming and having a conversation with a Substitute Decision Maker - someone who will speak on your behalf and make decisions for you - but only when you are not able to do so yourself.

According to a 2004 poll conducted by Ipso-Reid on behalf of the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association and GlaxoSmithKline, eight in ten respondents agreed that people should start planning for end of life when they are healthy, however 70% of them had not prepared a plan, and 47% had not designated someone to speak for them if they are unable to communicate.

A 2008 study found that the absence of Advance Care Planning, in all its forms, was associated with worse patients' ratings of quality of life in the terminal phase of the illness and worse ratings of satisfaction by the family during the terminal illness or in the months that follow death.

Research also indicates that patients who have end of life conversations with health professionals and family members are much more likely to be satisfied with their care, require fewer aggressive medical interventions at the end of life and are more likely to take advantage of hospice resources or die at home.

The Speak Up campaign includes a website (www.advancecareplanning.ca) with tools to help people start these sometimes difficult conversations, as well as advance care planning resources such as workbooks, wallet cards and links to provincial / territorial legislation and planning information.

"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 Ms. Baxter. "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. These are personal, individual choices that every Canadian deserves at the end of life. Make sure your voice is heard."

For more information: www.advancecareplanning.ca

The Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (CHPCA) is a national, bilingual charitable non-profit association with membership comprised of individuals and hospice palliative care programs and services from every province and territory. The CHPCA is a member of the National Advance Care Planning Task Group, comprised of representatives from a number of organizations and professions across Canada. The Task Group has collaborated to develop Advance Care Planning in Canada: A National Framework and Implementation and the Speak Up campaign.

Advance Care Planning Backgrounder

  • According to Statistics Canada, each year, more than 248,000 Canadians die, and by 2020, that number will increase to over 330,000.

  • In a recent national survey, more than 80% of respondents are concerned the quality of health care in Canada will decline as a result of increased strain on the health care system as our population gets older1

  • In Canada, seniors 80+ represent the second fastest growing age group - one in five of these seniors will die in hospital, even though a number of them would prefer to die at home or in a palliative care setting.

  • In a 2004 poll conducted by Ipso-Reid on behalf of the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association and GlaxoSmithKline, 70% of Canadians had not prepared a living will or advance care plan, and 47% of Canadians had not designated a Substitute Decision Maker to make healthcare decisions for them if they are unable. Fewer than 44% of respondents had discussed end-of-life care with a family member

  • Research indicates that patients who have end-of-life conversations with their doctors and family members are much more likely to be satisfied with their care, will require fewer aggressive interventions at the end of life, place less of a strain on caregivers and are more likely to take advantage of hospice resources or die at home. 2,3

  • A 2008 study found that the absence of Advance Care Planning, in all its forms, was associated with worse patients' ratings of quality of life in the terminal phase of the illness and worse ratings of satisfaction by the family during the terminal illness or in the months that follow death.2

  • A 2010 Canadian study of hospitalized, elderly patients identified that there is a huge unmet need, that providing more support for end-of-life conversations and advance care planning will have a large positive impact on improving end-of-life care in Canada.4

What is an advance care plan?
An advance care plan is a written document that describes your wishes at the end of life, in the event that you cannot speak for yourself - but it's also the conversation that you have with family, friends and health professionals to talk about those wishes.

Your plan may include information about your values, goals and preferences for procedures that you do or don't want to have (such as CPR  or mechanical ventilation as well as other information about your care at the end of life (for example, religious rituals, being able to see a family member, dying at home or in palliative care, etc.). It should also name a Substitute Decision Maker - the person who will speak for you if you cannot.

Who should make an advance care plan?
Every adult should make a plan. You can't predict how or when you will die - so having a plan ensures that others know your wishes and that your voice will be heard if you cannot speak for yourself.

When is an advance care plan used?
You plan is only used if you are unable to make your own health care decisions (e.g. you are in a coma or your illness has impaired your ability to make decisions). Your representative can use it to guide your care and to express wishes on your behalf.

Can an advance care plan be changed?
Our lives - and the people around us - change over time. You will want to review your advance care plan regularly and revise it to be sure it reflects your wishes. Remember, it will only be used if you cannot speak for yourself.

Is an advance care plan the same as a Living Will?
A living will is a form of advance care planning - but it's also important to have a conversation with those who will make decisions about your care - they may have questions about your wishes. You should also review your advance care plan regularly to be sure that it still reflects your feelings, beliefs and values about end of life care.  Each province and territory has specific legislation to support the documentation of advance care plans.

Advance Care Planning in Canada: National Task Group
(Members as of March 1, 2011)

  • Sharon Baxter, Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association

  • Shelley Birenbaum, Shelley R. Birenbaum Professional Corporation, Canadian health law expert

  • Maryse Bouvette, Bruyère Continuing Care;

  • Karen Chow, The GlaxoSmithKline Foundation

  • Nanci Corrigan, Channel 3 Communications

  • Bert Enns, Alberta Health Services

  • Darren Fisher, National Lung Health Framework

  • Romayne Gallagher, Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians / College of Family Physicians of Canada

  • Louise Hanvey, Project Manager, Advance Care Planning in Canada, Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association,

  • Daren Heyland, Queen's University, Canadian Researchers at the End of Life Network (CARENET)

  • Melody Isinger, Quality End-of-Life Care Coalition of Canada

  • Larry Librach, University of Toronto, Division of Palliative Care, Department of Family and Community Medicine

  • Irene Nicoll, Canadian Partnership Against Cancer

  • Laurie Anne O'Brien, Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association Nurses Interest Group and Regional Palliative Care, Eastern Health, Newfoundland and Labrador

  • Denise Page, Canadian Cancer Society,

  • Lonny Rosen, Gardiner Roberts LLP and Canadian Bar Association

  • Carolyn M. Tayler, Director, End-of-Life Care, Fraser Health Authority

1 Ipsos Reid. 10th Annual Report Card on National Health Care. www.cma.ca, last accessed Aug. 28, 2010

2 Wright, AA, et al. Associations between end-of-life discussion, health care expenditures, JAMA, 2008, 300 (14) 1665-1673

3 Heyland, DK, Allan DE, Rocker G, Dodek P, Pichoa D, Gafni A. Discussing prognosis with patients and their families near the end of life. Impact on satisfaction with end of life care. Open Medicine 2009, 3(20: 71-80

4 Heyland DK, Cook DJ, Rocker GM, Dodek PM, Kutsogiannis DJ, Skrobik Y, Jiang X, Day AG, Cohen SR. Defining priorities for improving end-of-life care in Canada. Can Med Assoc J 2010;182(16):E747-E752.



SOURCE Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association

For further information:

For more information or to set up an interview, please contact:

Cheryl Spencer
Administrative Coordinator
Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association
E-mail: cspencer@bruyere.org
Phone: 613-241-3663 ext. 229

Profil de l'entreprise

Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association

Renseignements sur cet organisme


FORFAITS PERSONNALISÉS

Jetez un coup d’œil sur nos forfaits personnalisés ou créez le vôtre selon vos besoins de communication particuliers.

Commencez dès aujourd'hui .

ADHÉSION À CNW

Remplissez un formulaire d'adhésion à CNW ou communiquez avec nous au 1-877-269-7890.

RENSEIGNEZ-VOUS SUR LES SERVICES DE CNW

Demandez plus d'informations sur les produits et services de CNW ou communiquez avec nous au 1‑877-269-7890.