April 20th, 2012
The months of spring are replete with days of significance. There are religious holidays and a slew of other days intended to take advantage of the warmer weather or celebrate the arrival of spring.
Although, it’s likely that everyone has taken part in one of these days it’s equally likely that a large chunk of the population has ignored a newer annual day of meaning. On April 16th it was National Advance Care Planning Day. This is a day designated, for Canadians, to reflect on the decisions that need to be made at the end of a life.
The day is the result of efforts to create a pan-Canadian framework for the discussion of advance care planning. Too often important decisions are put off until it is too late. The Advance Care Planning in Canada Project hopes to limit instances of this type. For those of you who are not completely certain of what Advance Care Planning encompasses, you should know that whenever a capable adult thinks or talks about their wishes for future health care with close family members and their health care provider, they are engaging in advance care planning.
The Ministry of Health encourages all capable adults to embrace advance care planning and take advantage of tools like the advance care planning guide, My Voice: Expressing My Wishes for Future Health Care Treatment. By spending time thinking and discussing matters of this kind in the present, individuals will avoid a number of complicated issues that may arise for their loved ones in the future.
The Advance Care Planning in Canada Project is intended to raise the awareness of Canadians regarding advance care planning and to equip them with the tools they need to engage in the process. An immediate goal is to encourage individuals to access the assistance of professionals and health care providers to begin the process of advance care planning.
Clearly these efforts are commendable. As the baby boomer generation continues to age, the need to educate the public about proactively planning for the future can only increase. Lawyers who practice in the areas of committeeships, wills, trusts and estate planning are all logical choices as trusted advisors when it comes to planning both for end of life decisions and the future financial well being of family members. LawOne is a resource that can help. Our network of lawyers includes legal professionals who practice in the above-mentioned areas. You can find their contact information on lawone.ca.