Next month I'll have the pleasure of speaking about You Could Live a Long Time: Are You Ready? as part of the Speak Up campaign and the importance of advance care planning. This national campaign stresses the importance of “speaking up” to ensure that our family and friends know our wishes in the event we are not able to speak for ourselves, and provides tools and terminology to make this easier.
Although the majority of Canadians say they understand the value of an advance care plan, talking about death and end of life care is a daunting task, and most don’t know how to begin. The Speak Up campaign encourages us to start that important conversation. And it's a conversation that's worth having. Research finds that Canadians with advance care plans require fewer interventions at the end of life, place less of a strain on caregivers and are more likely to take advantage of hospice resources or die at home. They and their caregivers report greater satisfaction with end of life care.
The Speak Up event is being organized by four organizations in London, Middlesex and Elgin counties in Ontario and proves the power of collaboration. The Serenity House Hospice and the Hospice of London support, educate and empower individuals and their families who are living with a progressive life-threatening illness. The West Elgin Community Health Centre delivers primary health care, illness prevention and health promotion services, and VON (Victorian Order of Nurses) Middlesex-Elgin offers a range of home care, personal support and community support services to help people live independently and in their own homes for as long as possible. Together they are offering this information session for those who are involved in the care of, or are part of the growing aging population.
This free event features a number of speakers and will be held the morning of Friday, September 21 at the Stoneridge Inn and Conference Centre at Hwy 4 and 401. Please register by September 18 by contacting VON Middlesex at 519-245-3170 or 1-800-265-7058 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope to see you there.