National Palliative Care Week 2018 is just around the corner. This year, we are asking Australians what matters most – to them, to their family & friends, and to their communities?
Thinking about “what matters most” is essence of advance care planning. Is it about having as much time as possible, even if much of this time is spent in hospital? Or is it about living in a particular way, such as being at home with family, even if this means foregoing some life-prolonging treatments?
We are all unique, so “what matters most” to each of us will be slightly different. When it comes to how we live with a serious illness, how we live until we die, and how we are cared for – there are often different options to choose from. Asking ourselves “what matters most” to us will help us make the right choice. Letting our family and friends know “what matters most” to us in advance will also help them make the right choice on our behalf, should we lose our ability to choose as a result of our failing health.
On the last week of May this year, take a few minutes to think about “what matters most” to you, and have a chat with those you love and find out “what matters most” to them. You might be surprised at what you discover!
For more information on National Palliative Care 2018, go to the Palliative Care Australia website. If you need some ideas on how to start the conversation about “what matters most” – try the Dying to Talk card game!