To begin, Advance Care Planning is a process of reflection and communication. It is a time for you to reflect on your values and wishes, and to let your substitute decision maker know what kind of health and personal care you would want in the future if you were unable to speak for yourself. It is applicable to everyone, not just those who are sick and/or elderly.
Since 2012, April 16th has marked the day for National Advance Care Planning in Canada, serving as a reminder not only to start these important conversations with your substitute decision maker(s), but to review your wishes, if applicable. Each year, as part of Advance Care Planning (ACP) day, we choose unique campaign themes which guide the development of materials and resources for the ACP day toolkit.
Without a doubt, this year’s ACP Day (April 16th) was a success. With the assistance of Channel 3 Communications, “Speak Up” developed resources for two ACP day campaigns: “What’s Your Excuse” and “Are you a Substitute Decision Maker.” These resources were translated and used by a variety of stakeholders across the country. In addition, both print and radio media engaged with the Speak Up team to promote ACP Day coverage. A new social media platform called “Thunderclap” was used this year as a way to deliver a unified message through Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr on ACP day. Our goal of 100 pledges was exceeded. A survey was sent to the stakeholders following April 16th to gather information about the nationwide ACP Day events.