“Advance care planning is something all of us should think about and do, especially as we get older."
Jane Marynowski knows the importance of planning for the future. Jane is a retired nurse and now a volunteer Parish Nurse at Ladner United Church and the lead for their Parish Health Team.
“Advance care planning is something all of us should think about and do, especially as we get older,” Marynowski said.
In fact, she's so dedicated to ensuring people know about advance care planning (also known as ACP) that she recently helped organize a “planning for the future” event at her church.
"Most people think it is just about paper work, which can be quite complicated, and so many procrastinate and just don’t do it,” she explained.
At the event, presenters emphasized that advance care planning is simply about talking with your family, your loved ones and your health care team.
The whole process is just five easy steps:
- Think about what’s right for you. What’s most important to you about your end-of-life care?
- Learn about the different medical procedures that can be offered at the end-of-life stage.
- Choose your substitute decision maker; a loved one who is willing and able to speak for you if you can’t speak for yourself.
- Talk about your wishes with your substitute decision maker, your loved ones and your health care providers.
- Record your end-of-life wishes. You can write them down, record them in an audio message, or make a video. Here is a short video that explains the process.
Ideally, advance care planning should start when people are younger and healthier, Marynowski advised. She also pointed out that thoughts and conversations change over time, as people age and are diagnosed with chronic and serious illnesses.
“I want to make sure my own family, as well as those families I know through my volunteer work, are provided with opportunities to learn about ACP,” she said, “and that they understand the importance of planning before a health crisis.”