What is Advance Care Planning?
Advance Care Planning (ACP), is a process that allows you to reflect, record and share your care preferences with a Nominated Health Spokesperson (NHS) in advance so that they know what to do in the event that you lose the mental capacity to make decisions on your own.
Share Your Care Preferences
Sharing your care preferences with your loved ones is an important step in planning for your care. When your loved ones know what you would want and what is important to you, they can make decisions on your behalf with a peace of mind. Read on for some tips on how you can begin the conversation.
How to Begin the Conversation
1. List Key Points
Prepare for the conversation by listing down the key points that you want to share with your loved ones and having this handy list with you in case you forget mid-conversation on what you wanted to share.
2. Find the Right Time
Advance Care Planning is a lifelong journey which begins with an open conversation that is best held over comfortable and natural settings to ease the discomfort.
Find an appropriate time to talk to your loved ones about it, such as over a meal, or right after a meal when your family is relaxing and watching TV. Remember, the conversation does not have to be completed all at once and it is important that you take time to explain your preferences and give time for your family to understand you.
3. Remember the ABCs
Acknowledge that the topic might be difficult and uncomfortable.
Be patient. If your loved ones do not want to talk about it, acknowledge their discomfort but also emphasise that having this conversation sometime soon is important to you and that you would appreciate them listening to you.
Care enough to have the discussion now to reduce any stress to your family members in the future. Remember, it’s never too early until it’s too late.
Below are some conversation starters you can use when you plan to share your
care preferences with your loved ones.
Start with a story of someone else’s experience.
It could be someone you know personally or it could be about someone you read about in the news. You could even bring up a fictional character’s story from your favourite TV drama if that is more comfortable for you.
Bring it up when talking about your insurance plans.
ACP is somewhat similar to insurance because it protects your future care outcomes. You can lead into the conversation by talking about your insurance plans.
Use available resources such as the workbook on this site.
After completing the workbook, you can choose to share your preferences with your loved ones using your workbook or this website as a conversation starter.
Start the conversation with other methods of communication.
Besides having a face-to-face conversation, you can also send a text, an email or even a letter to your loved ones to inform them about your care preferences.