Knowing the difference can make all of the difference

A message from our Health Care Engagement Lead

Over the past two years, in my role working across the sectors of health care, it has become clear that there are a number of questions when it comes to Advance Care Planning & Health Care Consent in Ontario. Who is the Substitute Decision Maker? When do they have a role in health care decision making? How can I bring up Advance Care Planning in my office in less than five minutes? Are there resources I can use?…and the list continues.

One common source of confusion has presented itself and that has been around the difference between Advance Care Planning conversations and Goals of Care discussions- What are they? How are they different? Are they even different?

I was fortunate enough to have my path cross with Dr. Jeff Myers, a palliative care physician from Toronto, who is passionate about teaching the difference of these two conversations to others. In his role as a palliative care physician, working with a variety of health care providers, he shared with me that he was facing the same questions and has been working out a way to help others understand the differences.

I invited Dr. Myers to share his wisdom with those of us working in Waterloo Wellington in November 2016. Despite our best efforts, Murphy’s Law proved true that morning and technology was not our friend. Fortunately Dr. Myers agreed to capture his content and it is now available for you to view.

So if you have ever wondered what the difference between Advance Care Planning conversations and Goals of Care discussions, take a listen and hear what Dr. Myers has to say about this important topic. Knowing the difference can make all of the difference.

Ashley Tyrrell is the Health Care Engagement Lead with Waterloo Wellington’s Advance Care Planning Education Program. She is currently working across the sectors to raise awareness and understanding about Advance Care Planning & Health Care Consent in Ontario. IF you would like to get in touch with Ashley she can be reached at ashley@hospicewaterloo.ca or at 519-743-4114. 

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