“Advance Care Planning can make the health care system better” says Michael David Macatiag, Residential Manager at Milieu Family Services.
In his role, Michael supports individuals with developmental disabilities in their home, as well as the support staff. Michael has embraced Advance Care Planning (ACP) in a holistic person and family centered manner.
What Michael thought Advance Care Planning was?
Prior to learning about Advance Care Planning, Michael was like most of the people he spoke to; he thought it was about death and dying. He thought ACP was related to someone’s morbidity and personally thought that it was not relevant to him or for the individuals he supports. Michael shared that he thought it was something someone did or was supported to do “just before they passed away.”
Michael’s views on ACP changed after he attended education provided by Fraser Health’s regional Advance Care Planning Team.
What Michael learned?
He now knows “Advance Care Planning is easy. It decreases the burden on everyone – staff and family.” When asked why he thinks this, Michael said “this is just about focusing on following their wishes. We don’t decide. The person does. My role is to make sure the health care system knows this individual and what is important to them.” Michael commented that throughout the processes, he sees himself as an advocate and one who can help ensure individuals’ voices are “known and heard.”
Michael has written and communicated what is important to the individuals he supports to Fraser Health in a standardized form. Some excerpts from documentation include:
“I enjoy playing sports such as basketball and ball hockey, especially when the weather is great.”
“I love spending some time alone in my room as I am listening to the music of my favourite genre/artists.”
“Video calls with friends.”
“I cherish family time.”
“I look forward to playing cards with staff.”
“By supporting Advance Care Planning, we deliver information about a person’s spiritual, emotional and physical well-being to the health care system” Michael said. He has risen to the challenges noted in the 2021 national poll by identifying and sharing with the individuals he supports, their family, and support staff that:
- Advance Care Planning is a process to be started early, before a health event
- Advance Care Planning is not complicated
- Advance Care Planning is not about death and dying
What is Michael’s advice to all Canadians?
By engaging in Advance Care Planning, whether in a work role or personal role, “you are making a difference. You are achieving advocacy by being the voice of your family or those you support.”
For information about in Advance Care Planning in Canada visit, advancecareplanning.ca