Last Updated: August 5, 2021

The Advance Care Planning in Canada initiative commissioned a national poll to identify people’s current attitudes and behaviors towards planning for their future health and personal care. The poll was conducted by Nanos Research in February and March 2021 and surveyed 3,002 Canadians 18 years and older.

While the poll results tell us that Canadians are taking action and having those important conversations around advance care planning, there’s still work to be done to demystify the process.

Poll Highlights:

  • Between 2019 and 2021, the number of Canadians who talked to a family member almost doubled: from one in three (36%) to almost two in three (59%).
  • Even though 77% of Canadians think it’s important to talk to their health care providers about their wishes, only 7% said they had done so (down from 8% in 2019).
  • 70% of Canadians (compared to 63% in 2019) felt comfortable having advance care planning conversations.
  • In 2021, more than four in 10 Canadians (42%) thought it was important to start planning young: up from 36% in 2019. The ideal age? Between 35 and 54.
  • The main barriers seem to be lack of information or resources. Canadians also said they: couldn’t afford a lawyer or professional to help them (16%), didn’t know how to prepare a plan (14%) and didn’t know where to go for information and advice (12%)

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Want to find out more? Download the summary report and infographic below.

Advance Care Planning Stories

We’ve asked physicians and average Canadians to tell us what advance care planning means to them. Here are their stories.

Canadians and Advance Care Planning: Understanding the Barriers

Dr. Sandy Buchman is a leading hospice palliative care physician and past president of the Canadian Medical Association. Read more >>

Advance Care Planning can Make the Health Care System Better

Michael David Macatiag is Residential Manager at Milieu Family Services in Surrey, British Columbia. He supports individuals with developmental disabilities and embraces Advance Care Planning in a holistic person and family centered manner. Read more >>

How to ACP

Dr. Darren Cargill is a fellow of the College of Family Physicians of Canada, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and American Association of Hospice Palliative Medicine. Read more >>

Arin Klug is a Toronto-based lawyer and co-founder of Epilogue Wills, an online service for developing Wills and Powers of Attorney. See his personal story below >>

Getting Started with Advance Care Planning

Creating an advance care plan doesn’t need to be difficult. It can be broken down into 5 simple steps:

Find out how to start your own advance care plan today!

Have questions? Let us know!