According to McMaster Optimal Aging, only about one half of Canadians have talked with loved ones or their health team about end-of-life care wishes.
Studies have found that patients who have an advanced care plan in place are less likely to receive unwanted intensive care while in hospital, especially when they can not communicate due to an illness or accident. Knowing the wishes of a loved-one in advance can also ease the decision making process for families during a stressful time.
Communicating with elderly parents about their end-of-life wishes can be difficult but families can look for clues to opening discussion about these important issues. Discussing advanced directives, end of life plans, powers of attorney and wills may seem depressing or morbid but can actually help relieve the worries elderly parents may have and clarify wishes for the family.
To learn more about how to create an advanced care plan visit the Speak Up website at http://www.advancecareplannning.ca.