Plan in Advance for Future Care
April 16 is Advanced Care Planning Day, a day devoted to helping people plan for their future care needs. It’s about having conversations with your substitute decision maker about what your wishes are if you ever become unable to make your own decisions.
Advance care planning can encompass many things and is unique to each person’s situation. The goal of advance care planning is to set our your wishes and preferences in regards to your healthcare, lifestyle and other matters and to make it known to your substitute decision makers.
For this article, we approach this subject broadly to include other common care planning matters that we often advise clients on, in addition to the core topics associated with advanced care planning.
Here are some tips for how to approach advance care planning:
- Take time to self-reflect about your own circumstances, in particular any health conditions, who your support team consists of and where they are located, and your own values and wishes. As part of this process, you may wish to research or talk to experts about your health conditions, if any, and how they might progress over time which will impact your care needs.
- Choose one or more substitute decision makers.. This person or people should be someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf if you become unable to make decisions for yourself. Think carefully about who you want to select and make sure they are familiar with your wishes.
- Create a power of attorney. A power of attorney is someone you designate to handle financial and legal matters on your behalf if you become incapacitated. This substitute decision maker will have responsibility over things like paying your bills, deciding what to incur expenses for, and managing your assets and liabilities. There are different types of powers of attorney in each province, and so it’s best to consult a lawyer in your province to draft the most appropriate one for you.
- Talk to your power of attorney about your wishes and give them the information they need to know in order to act effectively on your behalf.
- Plan for your health and medical care. If you become incapacitated, you should have a plan in place for your medical and healthcare decisions. Consider what kind of care you would want, what type of living environment you want to live in, and who should make decisions on your behalf. In BC, this is encompassed into a healthcare representation agreement, but in other provinces keep in mind the terminology may differ. One question to consider is whether you want your power of attorney to be the same person as the person you are naming as healthcare representative. Another question to ask yourself is whether you’d like to prepare an advance care directive which is a document that sets out your healthcare wishes.
- Think about end-of-life wishes. End-of-life decisions can be difficult to make, but they’re important to consider.
What about the Financial side of Advanced Care Planning?
Watch the CEO and founder of myCareBase Solutions discuss how to prepare for the costs of senior care on BNN Bloomberg.
For more information about how to prepare an advanced care plan, watch our video below, or reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact us through our website at www.mycarebase.com.