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Advance Care Planning – Your Life and Your Choices

2017-09-13

Advance Care Planning, is a process through which individuals can plan ahead and make choices about their future. It is for anyone who wishes to plan ahead, whether they have a serious illness or not.

The Health and Social Care Board and the Public Health Agency (PHA) in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support, on behalf of the Regional Palliative Care programme – Palliative Care in Partnership, hosted an event to bring together organisations from outside the health and social care system to share this information and help raise awareness of Advance Care Planning.

Corrina Grimes, Allied Health Professions Consultant and Palliative Care Lead at the PHA, said: “We are promoting the concept of Advance Care Planning and encourage individuals and communities to be proactive in planning for the future in terms of their personal affairs and any wishes they may have for their care towards and at the end of life.  It may be particularly helpful for those with a progressive medical condition such as advanced respiratory disease, dementia or a progressive neurological condition. However Advance Care Planning is for anyone who wishes to plan ahead.”

Paul Turley, Commissioning Lead for Palliative Care, Health and Social Care Board, said: “We are engaging with wider community stakeholders and encouraging discussion about this important and sensitive topic. We want organisations to see the benefits of planning ahead and will discuss how they can embed Advance Care Planning within their organisations. This will help encourage conversations about planning for the future, enabling people to be more comfortable in talking about death, dying and bereavement.”

Genevieve Murphy, Senior Learning and Development Manager at Macmillan Cancer Support added, “It is important that people feel comfortable having open and honest conversations about death. The only certainty in life is that we will all die – what is less certain is where and what experience we will have when it happens. It’s only by talking that we can agree what is really important to us, and put plans in place to make that happen.”

MacMillan Cancer Support have produced a book that addresses key topics that people should consider about Advance Care Planning.  For copies of the Advance Care Planning ‘Your Life and Your Choices’ booklet visit: www.macmillan.org.uk/_images/your-life-and-your-choices-ni_tcm9-300035.pdf

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