Yesterday, was Advance Care Planning Day a time to promote the importance of thinking about and communicating wishes for end-of-life care.
It is also about understanding the options and values that guide these significant decisions.
In 2012, an Ipsos Reid poll found that 86 per cent of Canadians had not heard of advance care planning. Less than half had had a discussion with a family member or friend about healthcare treatments if they were ill and unable to communicate.
Research indicates that Canadians with advance care plans require fewer interventions at the end of life, place less of a burden on caregivers and less strain on the health care system.
As individuals, planning for our health care futures is not something we want to face head on but we have the responsibility to plan for our individual health care futures now so that our personal needs – and the needs of our loved ones – are looked after because all Canadians are entitled to quality of life and care at all stages of their lives.
I’d like to welcome to the house today members of the Hospice Palliative Care Association of Prince Edward Island
- Jodi Swan, Chair of Hospice PEI;
- Kip Holloway, board member; and
- Marilyn Lowther, board member
and thank them and their members for the care and support they provide to patients and their families at what can be a very difficult time.
Your selflessness does not go unnoticed and I thank you on behalf of our province.
Every Islander, and Canadian, should take time to reflect on their values and wishes concerning future health care plans and share personal care preferences with family members.
Raising awareness for this need and making it easier for people to begin these conversations is vital and as Minister of Health and Wellness, I am pleased to hopefully help get the conversation started.