My fellow, proud NHDD advocates, your eyes are not deceiving you and you haven’t misread the title of this blog post so there is no need to adjust your computer screen! You read correctly and the NHDD team couldn’t be more excited that just four days before we, here in the states, gear up to celebrate the Fourth Annual National Healthcare Decisions Day, our Canadian counterparts will be hosting their very own version of NHDD—“Advance Care Planning Day.”
We know it’s often said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but in this instance it’s far more than that. The First Annual Advance Care Planning Day (ACPD), scheduled for April 12, 2011 is monumental! Why? In communities all over the world, we are taught to plan for our education, relationships, financial futures, children’s educations and retirements. However, this new international effort to promote advance care planning signifies that it may soon become universal standard for us to also plan for our unforeseen medical emergencies and end-of-life care.
Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (CHPCA) and ACPD Project Manager Louise Hanvey shared our hope that this is a step toward establishing advance care planning as a universal standard by first establishing it as a standard in our communities and nations— so for her, in Canada.
“Planning for the end of our lives is not easy, but we need to change our mindset about that,” Hanvey said. “Our [CHPCA and the National Advance Care Planning Task Force] main goal in launching this is captured in the initiative’s tagline—‘It’s about conversations. It’s about decisions. It’s how we care for each other.’ We’re all about connecting Canadian community organizations and leaders to the tools they need to spark the [advance care planning] conversation.”
We at NHDD would like to applaud the leaders of the Canadian National Advance Care Planning Task Force, CHPCA and all others involved in the planning of the first ACPD their nation has seen. Let’s all hope that NHDD and ACPD will serve as inspiration to advance care planning advocates worldwide and result in more similar awareness initiatives.