Have you had an advance care planning discussion with family or friends?
Help us convince other Canadians to do the same. Send us a photo of you with your substitute decision maker(s), parents, children, siblings, or friends, and a short quote explaining why you think advance care planning is important. We’ll be posting the photos and quotes here to help others get the conversation started!
Send us your photos/quotes today at email@example.com.
Read Amy's Story
I remember the snow falling lightly that early December morning, leaving just a skiff on the road. I savoured my second cup of black coffee after my husband left for work, contentedly admiring the red and silver ornaments on the Christmas tree we had just put up in front of the huge picture window in our newly purchased first home. I dressed in a red and brown striped turtleneck sweater and chocolate brown slacks, put on my blue wool pea-coat and left for work in a good mood. As a first-year family medicine resident, I anticipated a full day in clinic, helping and learning from patients. I headed up the single two-lane road connecting the small town where we had gotten married and now lived, north into the city.
The snow circled around in front of me but my wipers needed only to streak through intermittently. Five minutes from home, driving behind a white Pontiac Sunfire, I abruptly skidded on black ice ...
Click here for the Full Story
Read Denyse 's Story
Since my dad insisted on having this conversation with me well before he passed, I remain forever grateful to him. When loved ones are not able to communicate their wishes, is not the time to have this conversation! YOU CAN”T. You’ll only be able to guess, speculate and wonder later, perhaps for a long time, if you made the right decisions on their behalf. Believe me, you will be dealing with your sadness and emotions at this difficult time. Have the conversation now and keep having so you are current on your loved ones’ wishes.
Best Conversations ever!
- Denyse Lynch
Read Daren's Story
``At our family dinner today, we discussed my wife's and my advance care plans. I concluded that this was not the first nor the last conversation we will have at the dinner table (trying to normalize the conversation in our family!)``
- Daren Heyland, Alberta
Read Louise's Story
``My family knows my wishes. My husband will be my substitute decision maker, and I will be his. We have had the conversations with our daughters - so they know too. Just like my Mom spoke with me.``
- Louise Hanvey, Ontario
Read Earl's Story
``I believe that it is important to take the time to talk with your family about your advance care choices while you are capable in order to protect your personal rights and ensure that your values and wishes are respected when difficult decisions have to be made by your loved ones along with medical staff.``
- Earl Campbell, Ontario
Read Bert's Story
``This fall Mom moved from her condo to a Senior's Residence. On the day of her move, a key concern for her was that her 'Medical Orders' successfully transitioned from her condo fridge to the one in her new suite. We started advance care planning conversations with Mom about 10 years ago. Having had these conversations, we are at peace. We know what Mom wants as things change in her life...and we are committed to supporting her wishes.``
- Bert Enns, Alberta
Read Téa's Story
``I like to be in control of my future and I don't want that part of my life to ever change, be it a 20 year old today or when I'm 80 years old in the future. Advance Care Planning gives me the opportunity to choose how I am going to live the last days of my life, the way I want to.``
- Téa Pere, Ontario
Read Kathryn's Story
“After my dad’s recent hip replacement surgery, we realized that we had prepared for many parts of the before and after care, but had not re-visited dad’s wishes to make sure that we still understood his care preferences if he were not able to communicate on his own. We continued that important conversation at home and both mom and dad found the Speak Up ACP workbook very helpful.”
- Kathryn Downer, Ontario
Read Joelle's Story
``Wanting to see how difficult and uncomfortable advance care planning is, I embarked deeply on my own ACP journey at the age of 34. When I considered my own mortality and asked what was most important to me in this lifetime, it clarified my priorities. I found engaging in my ACP surprisingly life-affirming and am now passionate to get more people of all ages doing this.``
- Joelle Bradley, British Columbia
Read John's Story
It's essential that we think now about what would be right for our health care in the future and that we familiarize ourselves with the relevant terms. We must take the opportunity to express our wishes regarding our health care to our Substitute Decision Maker so that they are able to express those wishes on our behalf if we are unable to speak for ourselves. It's how we care for one another - it's what we are committed to doing well in Ontario.
- John Fraser, MPP Ottawa South , Ontario
Read Rachel's Story
In my adult life, I hadn’t been in a situation where I needed to be cared for beyond minor illnesses. That lack of experience made it difficult to conceptualize whether “being a burden” was important to me if I became seriously ill.
Not long after I began documenting my Advance Care Plans, I broke my arm and required surgery. I didn’t respond well to the procedure or the medication, and I required support from those around me. Admittedly, being looked after by my partner for the first few days was comforting. But then days turned into weeks and I began to fully appreciate just how draining it was on him to take care of all of my needs. I started to imagine how exhausting it would be to continue to look after me without knowledge of my impending recovery. And I realized how badly it made me feel that I was inflicting this upon him.
I viewed this experience as the perfect opportunity to revisit the conversation; to form new thoughts and opinions, and to rethink those previously discussed.
- Rachel Carter, British Columbia
Read Stephanie's Story
``Dad, thank you for making a difficult situation more bearable. By sharing what was important to you, we were able to direct your care so you could live your life, on your terms, to it's end. xo``
- Stephanie Connidis, Ontario
Read Liz's Story
``Letting those I care about know what my wishes are and what I value is important to not only me but important to help guide them if a time comes where they will be called upon to make health or personal care decisions on my behalf. For me, my future Substitute Decision Maker(s) and for making this a normal conversation we can all share with each others.``
- Liz Laird, Ontario
Read Bruce's Story
``Essex Windsor EMS has partnered with Leamington and Area FHT to promote ACP-HCC . Having the education and support of primary care gives us the tools we need to provide a coordinated approach at end of life for the patients and families we care for.``
- Bruce Krauter Chief Essex Windsor EMS
Read Fran's Story
“It’s so important for those you love, and who love you, to know what your final wishes are before there’s a need. What a terrible, and unnecessary, burden to place on their shoulders. We love, cherish and care for our children from the moment they draw their first breath until the moment we draw our last. This can be our final gift.”
- Fran Dawson, Palmerston Ontario
Read Charlie's Story
``My parents say that ACP is important because: they want their family and my health care providers to know what their wishes are.``
- Charlie Chen, British Columbia
Read the Nova Scotia MLAs story
``The need to begin the conversation around end of life care is a non-partisan issue which crosses party lines and impacts all Nova Scotians. The Liberal, Progressive Conservative and NDP Members of the Legislature of the Nova Scotia government believe in the importance and value of Advance Care Planning. Organized by the Nova Scotia Hospice Palliative Care Association, they came together in this picture to support the Speak Up Campaign and to show “Who’s Talking” in Nova Scotia!``
Read Sarah's Story
``My advance care plan is based upon personal values and beliefs therefore having a comprehensive tool that puts it into perspective is beneficial. The online tool is user friendly and holistic. Advance care plans look at comfort, pain prevention, effect on family, spiritual beliefs - various topics that would impact the healthcare interventions one may receive. It is never too early or late to be involved in your care. Know your options, voice your decisions, be involved in your care.``
- Sarah Walji, Ontario
Read Sharon's Story
``It is only fair to your loved ones that you speak with them about your final wishes. You would not leave them in economic limbo by failing to have a will. It is not right to leave them in emotional limbo by failing to have an ACP or to ``have the talk`` with them to put their hearts at ease knowing that they are making the decisions you truly want.``
- Sharon Carstairs, Ontario
The BC Centre for Palliative Care
``In December 2015, compassionate individuals from across the province convened to discuss the importance of Advance Care Planning for all British Columbians.``
- BC Centre for Palliative Care, British Columbia
Palliative Care Service in Sydney
``ACP is near and dear to all of us in our Palliative Care service, and we felt it fitting that we “practice what we preach”! We launched an initiative this Christmas 2015 for our own staff to start the process by thinking of a Substitute Decision Maker and have the discussion with that person during the holidays, when families are often all gathered.``
- Palliative Care Service in Sydney, Nova Scotia
``We promote ACP. Our vision is that ACP is normalized, well understood and desired. We represent the Fraser Northwest Division of Family Practice ACP Initiative in the Greater Vancouver Area.``
Read Laura's Story
``In honour of Advance Care Planning Day on April 16th 2016, I urge you to join me in spreading awareness about the value of having conversations with your loved ones about your wishes for future health care, even if you’re young and healthy.
To me, it’s important that my husband (my substitute decision maker) knows my Advance Care Planning wishes because I want my whole extended family to have peace of mind that if the time comes that my husband has to make healthcare decisions on my behalf, he will make decisions that honour my wishes.
You never know what tomorrow will bring.``
– Laura Spencer, Vancouver BC
CERAH, PPSMPC, RPCP
Today we celebrated National ACP Day with a presentation on how important it is for health care providers to have ACP conversations with their clients. The presentation discusses how conversations with clients can change over the progression of their diseases and how these vital conversations can enhance their health care experience.
Centre for Education and Research on Aging & Health (CERAH), PPSMPC and the North West LHIN Regional Palliative Care Program (RPCP) Staff, Thunder Bay, ON
Read Kathleen's Story
“Advance care planning is an important conversation about dying. It can be challenging, but talking about our hopes for when our time comes can help each of us, our families, and our care providers make better decisions leading to better care, so we can live well to the end of life. It’s about peace of mind and heart, at a difficult time.”
- Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario
Read Julie's Story
“We have regular conversations in our family about our future health care wishes. It provides us with a sense of comfort knowing that we will know what to do should that time ever arise.”
- Julie Darnay, Ontario
Read Rick's Story
``Advance Care Planning is about sharing my health care wishes with my substitute decision maker so they know what’s important to me if they have to make decisions on my behalf. It’s not about being ill, it’s about being prepared. Let’s take the opportunity to talk to those who are important to us about what is important to us. Let's talk Ontario!``
- Rick Firth, Ontario
Leamington and Area FHT
“Advance Care Planning and Health Care Consent have become a usual part of care at our FHT – we have created a culture that promotes and supports the conversations. Our patients are happy to be engaged and have become our ambassadors to spread the message.``
- Leamington and Area FHT, Ontario
Read Eric's Story
“Advance Care Planning is a necessary and important process of expressing our wishes about our future healthcare - it ensures our Substitute Decision Maker can speak on our behalf if we are unable to speak for ourselves. Advance care planning helps our loved ones by taking away that stress and uncertainty at an already emotional time.”
- Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-term Care