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Published Thursday 24 Aug 2017

Patients are being encouraged to think about what they’d want if their health deteriorated, and to record their wishes before a crisis hits.

Advance care planning involves preparing for when your health fails and you may be unable to speak for yourself. It’s about discussing and recording your wishes to ensure they’re carried out – something Wellingtonian Rod Carlisle has done recently.

“I have specific thoughts about treatment I wouldn’t want if my chronic respiratory illness progressed in a particular way,” he said.

“Advance care planning is discussed at a respiratory group I’m part of, and there was a talk at Rita Angus Retirement Village. It made sense, and reinforced how important it is for my wife and me to have these discussions and speak to our children.”

ACP project manager Helen Rigby says these discussions often begin during a crisis – when someone is admitted to hospital and can’t speak for themselves.

“Hospital staff – along with many GPs and community health teams – urge people to have these discussions when their health is stable, instead of waiting for a crisis when emotions are high,” she said.

“Don’t wait to be prompted by a health professional, or until it may be too late. Have these conversations early, use the resources that are available online, and give yourself and your family peace of mind.”

Information and resources can be accessed at www.advancecareplanning.org.nz or by emailing acp@ccdhb.org.nz.

Media contact: Chas Te Runa – 027 230 9571