Staff, patients and residents across the Southern Region are being encouraged to ‘get talking’ tomorrow for Conversations that Count Day. The national day aims to raise awareness about Advance Care Planning amongst the general public and encourage people to start important conversations with family and loved ones about their future and end-of-life care.
An advance care plan records what is important to an individual and what gives their life meaning. This might include people and pets, a person’s values and how they would like those caring for them to look after their spiritual, cultural and emotional needs. Having a plan is particularly important if a person becomes too unwell to communicate their wishes with their loved ones and health care team.
General practices, aged residential care facilities, hospitals and hospice services across the Southern Region will be displaying and distributing posters, pamphlets and information to the general public and staff to help raise awareness of the day and help trigger important conversations.
Helen Sawyer, Palliative Care Clinical Nurse Specialist at Southern District Health board is the Regional Clinical Lead for Advance Care Planning. The day provides an important focus for staff and clients of the DHB explains Helen, “The day helps remind us that it’s not just patients who need to think about Advance Care Planning, but that every single one of us could benefit from having discussions with our loved ones about our personal health wants and wishes for the future. I hope that the displays we have arranged at the hospital and the resources that are out in the community encourage more people to start thinking and talking about their future health care.”
Conversations that Count Day is being coordinated by the Advance Care Planning Cooperative and the Health Quality & Safety Commission.
There are lots of free resources to help you think about and prepare your advance care plan at http://www.advancecareplanning.org.nz.