Tomorrow is National Advance Care Planning Day, and the palliative care team at Niagara Health is raising awareness about the importance of reflecting on and discussing decisions made at the end of life.
This year’s theme is Advance Care Planning: An Essential Conversation for Everyone.
“Advance care planning is about making sure your wishes about end-of-life care are known and respected,” says Dr. Andre Maddison, Internist and Project Lead with Niagara Health’s Palliative Care Consultation Service.
“It is important to plan ahead for decisions about your care while you are still able to speak for yourself,” adds Dr. Katrin Conen, an Oncologist and member of the Palliative and Supportive Care Clinic team at Niagara Health’s Walker Family Cancer Centre.
Palliative care is for people who have a life-limiting illness and it can be offered at any point from diagnosis to near the end of life. This holistic approach to care empowers patients and families to express their goals, wishes, beliefs and values. Starting palliative care early in illness has been proven to improve quality of life, symptom management and emotional wellbeing for patients.
At Niagara Health, the palliative care team’s goals are to enhance access to palliative care services and improve transitions between hospital and home or another community setting. The Palliative Care Consultation Service cares for inpatients (patients admitted to hospital) and Emergency Department patients. The cancer centre’s Palliative and Supportive Care Clinic supports oncology patients at Niagara Health, including those receiving outpatient care.
The Niagara Health team can help patients with advance care planning. Learn more about Niagara Health’s Palliative Care program on our website and check out the Speak Up Canada website for additional information about advance care planning.