Courageous Conversations

Planning for the Next Season has been working with Panorama Health Network (North Metropolitan Medicare Local) and Kim Greeve (Department of Health) to raise awareness about advance care planning.  We have spoken with home care providers, GP’s and practice professionals and people in the community who are interested in knowing more about advance care planning and having courageous conversations with people close to us about future wishes.

We say that these conversations are courageous because thinking about a future where we, or our parents, are not able to direct care, can be uncomfortable.

Here are some tips for starting that sort of conversation about future wishes:

  • Think about who is closest to you in your life.  This person, or people are the ones with whom you will have the conversation about what you want and what you don’t.
  • Think it through. Before you have this conversation, give yourself time to think about and come to terms with your own ideas.
  • If you have a partner, talk to each other first before involving other people closest to you.
  • Think about the challenges you might face in having this sort of conversation and then think about some possible strategies you might use to overcome those challenges.  For example, if you’d like to have this conversation with family and the family lives in different states or countries, can you use Skype or FaceTime in order to start the conversation?

Every person and every family is unique.  What may work for you may not work for another family.  Even individual family members may have a conflicting perspective on what should happen when someone can no longer direct their own care.

Additional workshops for people in the community (Perth North Metropolitan area) will be advertised in your local community newspaper.  Additionally, you can contact Planning for the Next Season for more details. 

It’s worth looking into Advance Care Planning, Advance Health Directives and Enduring Guardianship.  It’s never too early to have the conversation.