Advance care planning is a key process for supporting First Nations people to receive palliative and end-of-life care at home, in hospital or in a long term care home. Everyone involved in the circle of care must know the wishes of the seriously ill person, which includes the immediate family, Substitute Decision Maker, extended family, local health care providers and external health care providers. Resources for community education are thus required to empower First Nations people to make and communicate their choices and care wishes.
Improving End-of-Life Care in First Nations, The Way Forward Integration Initiative, Quality End-of-Life Care Coalition of Canada and Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association partnered to develop advance care planning educational resources for people living in First Nations Communities.
First Nations Health Authority
Advance Care Planning for First Nations People
Being prepared for the future is important. Just like we plan and prepare for fishing, hunting, ceremony, and weather; planning for medical care in advance or “just in case”, helps us to be prepared. It can give us peace of mind for ourselves and our families. During the COVID-19 pandemic, when we are worried about the potential threat to ourselves, our community, and particularly our Elders, peace of mind is very important. Advance care planning may help.
The goal of Your Care, Your Choices: planning in advance for medical care, is to help First Nations and Indigenous people learn more about Advance Care Planning. The goal of planning is to support individuals, families and health care providers to walk side-by side through someone’s illness and journey into the Spirit World. It helps you to make your own health care choices. Living life to the fullest means different things to different people, and it is important to think and talk about how you define this for yourself.
Using the Your Care, Your Choices workbook as a guide can help you to begin conversations with your family, friends and health care team. That way everyone knows how you wish to be cared for if you ever become ill or injured, and can no longer make decisions for yourself.
Nicole Wikjord, Clinical Nurse Specialist
Serious Illness and Palliative Care