Contributed by Lorraine Gerard, BCHPCA.
BC Hospice Palliative Care Association (BCHPCA) is a not-for-profit, membership organization which has been promoting responsive, quality hospice palliative care and bereavement services throughout British Columbia since 1986. BCHPCA’s membership includes both individuals and organizations (currently sixty-seven hospice societies) that deliver hospice palliative care services throughout the Province. Their work focuses on educating British Columbians and community groups on personal advance care planning and advocating for equitable access to quality care for those at end-of-life and their loved ones who are grieving.
Advance Care Planning is a process that prepares you and your family to make decisions about your future health and personal care. It begins by normalizing conversations about dying and death, grieving and planning for care.
This Change Day, BCHPCA’s Executive Director, Lorraine Gerard will be encouraging all Association members to make their own personal pledge…to make one small change towards improved patient care and family support.
Lorraine’s pledge for Change Day BC was informed by her experiences as her parents were aging. Several years before their deaths, Lorraine’s parents discussed their wishes for future care, forecasting when they would want comfort care rather than “heroic” efforts. As they became increasingly frail and their chronic conditions worsened, there came a time when treatment decisions were required. Although saddened, Lorraine and her siblings were comforted knowing they were honouring their parents’ wishes. By making and sharing their decisions about their future care years earlier, their parents had provided a lasting gift to the family.
Lorraine’s personal pledge is to engage people in conversations about the importance of advance care planning as a future gift to their loved ones. Join her pledge, or make your own pledge about Advance Care Planning this week.