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30th April 2024

Advance Care Planning - Dr Karen Chumbley

If you are diagnosed with a life limiting condition, or you are living with frailty and multiple conditions in older age, there is a good chance that you feel that you have less control over your future than before.

When people in our community were asked what was important to them at this stage of their lives they said that they wished to have sensitive conversations about their future, choices with regards to their care, and that these choices should be used where possible to coordinate their future health care.

This process of considering, discussing and sharing priorities for future care is called advance care planning and it can make a difference to you and your loved ones.

People who create an advance care plan are more likely to receive care in line with their wishes and to be cared for in a place of preference, it can also minimise unwanted or unnecessary hospital admissions. It can enhance your sense of control and give you more peace of mind and it also decreases the burden of decision making for your family because they understand your wishes in advance. It has also been shown to decrease the distress of bereavement.

This national advance care planning day provides an opportunity to consider what is important to you at this stage of your life, to talk about it with the people close to you and to share these thoughts with your health care team.

In north east Essex these decisions can be recorded on the My Care Choices Register so that health care professionals involved in your care can see what is important to you.

Find out more about the My Care Choices Register

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