Advance care planning is making decisions about the healthcare you would want to receive if you’re facing a medical crisis. These are your decisions to make based on your personal values, preferences, and discussions with your loved ones.
Advance care planning includes:
- Getting information on the types of life-sustaining treatments that are available
- Deciding what types of treatment you would or would not want should you be diagnosed with a life-limiting illness
- Sharing your personal values with your loved ones
- Completing advance directives to put into writing what types of treatment you would or would not want – and who you chose to speak for you – should you be unable to speak for yourself such as a Power of Attorney or Substitute Decision Maker (see diagram below)
Palliative care is a team approach for supporting Residents and their families during progressive and chronic illness. Palliative care addresses the Resident as a whole and uses assessments that include reviewing physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs. We utilize the Palliative Performance Scale (PPS) tool which measures the progressive decline of a palliative Resident. It has five functional dimensions: ambulation, activity level and evidence of disease, self-care, oral in- take, and level of consciousness. We use this as a prognostic indicator that identifies life trajectory in relation to diagnosis.
Our team collaborates closely with Resident’s and families to discuss assessments 1-on-1 and during our annual care conferences. From the assessment, our team is able to work with physicians, nursing staff, activities, physio, dietary, pastoral care and community partners to ensure that services are in place to support the Resident.
Our approach allows the home to complete palliative care here, where the Resident is familiar to their space (their home) and having familiar staff providing assessments and interventions. The team works alongside with the Resident’s plan of care and/or advance care preferences.
We do not wish for families to experience any undue hardship or stress and wish to make them comfortable while their loved one is at end of life. We can provide sleeping options if a family member wishes to stay overnight. In addition, nourishment carts and care items are presented in the room so that family/friends can have items available to them with ease. A private chapel is available for congregating family/friends.