Dying wishes: Health PEI helping you make decisions so your family won't have to

Dying wishes: Health PEI helping you make decisions so your family won't have to

Health PEI has created some free online tools to help families talk about making difficult decisions around end-of-life care.

It includes topics such as measures you'd want taken to extend your life, what medical tests or procedures you'd want done, and where you would want to spend the last days of your life.

Not having an advance care plan can create stress for family members left with making those choices, says palliative care consultant Dr. Mireille Lecours.

"Big families mean differing opinions, so 'Dad would want this, Dad would not want this' … and it can really break family units when you have to make a decision that not everybody agrees on," she said on CBC's Island Morning.

Health care has become very advanced over the last number of years in the area of prolonging life, Lecours said. But that doesn't always equate to a good quality of life.

'Your own decisions'

"Having an advance care plan is actually taking charge of that moment in your life where you may not be able to make your own decisions and you want to make sure the people that make the decisions make decisions that are consistent with your values, wishes for health care," she said.

Health PEI's online advance care planning workbook guides users through the key steps to clearly communicate and outline their wishes for health and personal care.  

Health PEI has also created an advance care planning brochure that will be mailed to all households across the province later this month.

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