We hope you are enjoying the great summer weather, my goodness we live in 'paradise'. No lack of events to partake in let alone boating, kayaking, fishing, golfing, sandcastle building, cycling or beach activity that we are able to enjoy right at home - why go anywhere else? We have been in the ocean swimming several times since May.
This month we have decided to share information on health care planning that we have learned about recently and feel that everyone should at least be aware of. I have actually completed the exercise and have shared the results with my family. The information is so important that it encompasses the majority of this edition and actually makes this edition longer than normal. We encourage you to take the time and review the information.
Enjoy the rest of the summer.
Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter and please contact us if you have any questions in regards to the content or real estate in general.
Have you ever seen the show Saving Hope? Trish and I watch it on occasion and ask ourselves what medical care would we like to have / or not have under certain circumstances. We have recently been made aware of new regulations by the BC Government put into effect September 2011 in regards to health planning and designating representative(s) that can make decisions for you when you are incapable. It is important for everyone to be aware of the opportunities and to do your planning. It is not only for those of us that are getting older but for everyone, regardless of our health or age, as we never know what may happen to us. We personally know that under certain circumstances we may not wish to have life support put into effect. I have completed the exercise and even though one of our family members would not make the same choice they have a clear picture as to my wishes and have stated they will ensure that ‘my’ wishes are carried out. This also gave us the opportunity to have a frank discussion between ourselves and our family.
The following is an excerpt from the Introduction of “My Voice, Expressing My Wishes for Future Health Care Treatment, Advance Care Planning Guide”:
“Having a voice in decisions about your health care treatment is important. There may come a time when, due to illness or injury, you are incapable of expressing your treatment wishes to health care providers. By planning in advance, you can be sure that your family, friends and / or health care providers know your wishes, and can ensure these wishes are followed.
New incapacity (or personal) planning legislation came into force in B.C. on September 1, 2011, providing adults with more options for expressing their wishes about future health care decisions. The legislation allows capable adults to put plans into place that outline the health care treatments they consent to or refuse based on their beliefs, values and wishes. If no decision / plan is in place, B.C.’s health care consent legislation gives regulated health care providers specific direction regarding who they must choose to make decisions on a person’s behalf.
This guide and workbook pages in the second half of this booklet will help you complete an advance care plan that outlines your wishes about health care decisions in the event you are unable to do so. It will help you consider what is important to you, help you document your beliefs and wishes, and help you develop the advance care plan that best suits you.”
The guide / work book, called My Voice, can be found on the internet at:
The guide will explain all of your options and includes the applicable forms. Some of the options are:
1) designate a representative(s) that can make health decisions on your behalf but does not include life support decisions;
2) designate a representative(s) that can make health decisions on your behalf including life support decisions;
3) your own Advance Directive where you can document specific actions you want taken, or actions you don’t want taken, when you are unable to make decisions;
The below is taken from the following web site: http://www.seniorsbc.ca/features/livingwill_acp.html
If you created a ‘living will’ or another type of advance care planning document in B.C. prior to September 1, 2011, the document may be deemed a valid Advance Directive ONLY if it meets all of the requirements for Advance Directives as set out in the updated Health Care (Consent) and Care Facility (Admission) Act. If the document you created prior to September 1, 2011, is not deemed an Advance Directive in B.C., it may still be used as your basic advance care plan with an expression of your wishes to inform your substitute decision maker if they are asked to make a health care decision for you.
Another resource site that Trish found helpful is: http://www.dyingwithdignity.ca/
This is also an great opportunity to discuss whether organ donation is something you want to do.
We encourage everyone to review the process and options and then complete the appropriate documents for you.