An Advanced Care Plan (ACP) is a plan that provides the resident, their family and caregivers an opportunity to consider what medical and social care a person would prefer, or refuse, during a time of crisis or end of life. This plan is more than a single document; it is an holistic view of the needs and wishes of a person during end of life care and should help to define the persons’ personal desires regarding their end of life. An ACP helps to facilitate conversation, provide direction and reflects a person’s wishes.
Many residents have difficulty thinking about their end-of-life wishes and therefore they do not have conversations about advance care planning. This initiative will increase public awareness, provide education and tools for having these important conversations, and help health care and other service providers build skills in supporting residents in building and communicating their plans.. With more information, residents of Waterloo Wellington can have discussions that will inform their substitute decision maker about their wishes for end-of-life care.
Under this three-year project, standardized ACP protocols, language, and forms that are used by health care practitioners will be consistent with Ontario legislation and will be promoted to ensure the same practices are used and communicated across the continuum of care.
“Our government is pleased to see the implementation of the Advance Care Planning Education Program (ACPEP) in conjunction with Hospice Waterloo Region and the WWLHIN, as this project will support families and loved ones in the difficult but important process of determining appropriate end-of-life care. Ultimately, this will allow a greater degree of choice, comfort, and dignity for residents and families right here in our own community.” Daiene Vernile, MPP Kitchener Centre
“We are very excited about this project. It will offer our community information they need to decide about their end-of-life care. We know that we need to also engage other community stakeholder groups such as legal, insurance and financial to build their knowledge and contribution to promoting Advance Care Planning,” says Judy Nairn, Executive Director of Waterloo Hospice.
“Improving end-of-life care is a significant priority in health care both at the provincial and local level. One of the key components of improving this care is engaging more residents in a conversation about their end-of-life care wishes. That is why we have invested in the Advance Care Planning Education Program to increase awareness of the importance of having such conversations to improve the care experience for residents and their families across our community,” says Joan Fisk, Board Chair, Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network.
“We know that when asked, many residents would prefer to die at home surrounded by their loved ones rather than in hospital. Unfortunately, this isn’t happening as often as it could. Improving Advance Care Planning practices in Waterloo Wellington will help more residents experience the end-of-life care that best matches their wishes.” says Bruce Lauckner, CEO, Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network.
- A Canadian survey carried out by Harris/Decima in 2013 found out that 55% of Canadians had never had a discussion with a family member, doctor, lawyer, friend, or financial advisor about their end-of-life care preferences
- According to a report by the Health Quality Ontario, by 2026, the number of Canadians dying each year will increase by 40% to 330,000 people, and each of those deaths will affect the wellbeing of an average of 5 others, or more than 1.6 million people.
- Of hospitalized Canadian elderly, 70% reported wanting comfort measures rather than life-prolonging treatment, but more than two-thirds were admitted to intensive care units.