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Support Conversations that Count Day today - April 16

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Canterbury DHB is asking people to have a ‘Conversation that Counts’ this month.

Today (April 16, 2015) marks the second national awareness day for advance care planning, to encourage people to think about, talk about and plan for their future health care.

Jane Goodwin, Canterbury Advance Care planning Facilitator, says the key to advance care planning is having conversations.

"We’re encouraging conversations in the community; between patients and their families; between clinicians and patients," Jane says.

"Conversations about what matters to an individual, how they like to live their life and how that might impact their care and treatment choices in the future, particularly as they approach the end of their life."

Jane says many find talking about death and dying hard.

"Yet the process of advance care planning supports a person to think about what is important to them and to communicate their wishes to their health care providers and family members.

This campaign is being coordinated by the National Advance Care Planning Co-operative along with the South Island Alliance’s Health of Older People’s group (HOPSLA) which is a member of the Co-operative and responsible for coordinating the day in the South Island.

Dr Jenny Keightley Chair of HOPSLA, says advance care planning is something that many of us should start thinking about as we approach old age.

"It’s not too early to start having a conversation that counts we know how important it is for people living with chronic health conditions to have the chance to talk about their health care options for the future and to communicate their own values and choices about their treatment," Dr Keightley says.

"Having an advance care plan helps to guide all care givers, especially if the person is unable to speak for themselves."

Conversations that Count day reminds us that it’s not too early to be having these conversations with people about what is important to them and what they would want for end of life care.

Please take time this month to have a conversation that counts with a family member or friend. You can find Conversations that Count Day on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Conversationsthatcount

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