On April 16 we celebrated National Advance Care Planning Day in Canada. This day is celebrated to promote conversations about your wishes and values for your future healthcare.
It is best to think about Advance Care Planning (ACP) when you are young and healthy, and have more control over your future plans. When you are young, you have the time to really reflect on what is important to you, and express to those closest to you what your aging journey looks like to you.
With ACP, you can decide if keeping your independence and aging in place is important to you, or if a long-term care home better suits your needs.
Advance care planning is all about recognizing your options early on. Of course in some instances, sickness and/or injury can happen abruptly giving you less time to consider options. That is why ACP is so important to think about when you are healthy. You can make clear decisions on your behalf.
Planning for your health and personal care is a way to document your wants and needs without putting people in difficult positions.
Leaving it to your family and friends is not the best idea as they are not mind-readers. What works for them or how they picture their lives as they age may not align with the values and beliefs you hold true.
Therefore, being able to communicate is crucial in making sure your aging journey plays out the way you intended. Of course there will be obstacles and roadblocks along the way, but having a general plan always makes the future path a little less scary.
It is human nature to assume we have more time. But in reality, time goes by quickly sometimes surprising us as we age.
It is good practice to plan ahead, lay out your options, and have your opinions heard. Long-term care homes or retirement homes are not for everyone – so speak your truth and discuss what is important to you personally as you begin your aging journey.
If aging in place is your goal (and staying in your home that holds so many of your memories is the path you wish to take), let that be known! Keep documents and plan how you see your final days playing out. If it is at home surrounded by your family and friends, be comfortable with communicating that to your loved ones.
When considering your personal future, or as a family caregiver, it is important to do your research and know all your options. Many services, such as iAccompany, help support independence for aging adults, while still providing them the care they need as they age.
With iAccompany, we give families more options when it comes to the care of their aging loved ones. If aging in place is important to you, or a family member you know, be sure to reach out to us directly at www.iaccompany.net.
You may be sitting at home thinking ‘I’m still young and healthy, why would I need to do advance care planning?’
Life is unexpected. Things happen that we have no control over, but we can control how we react. Advance care planning gives your loved ones peace of mind because they will be confident that they are doing what you request.
By communicating your needs, you allow them to make decisions on your behalf that they know you will be comfortable with – which will put them at ease in any situation.
So don’t hesitate – start thinking about your future now by reflecting and communicating what matters most to you on your aging journey.