ACP and the Power of Personal Stories

These true ACP stories may help you to jumpstart your own advance care plan, or to open an essential conversation with someone you care about.

Read stories about the importance of ACP from a healthcare provider’s perspective

Opening the door to conversation: Ann and Gordon

Ann is a passionate advocate of advance care planning, and knows that these conversations can help remove pressure from partners, family and friends in the event of a medical emergency. Ann acknowledges these aren’t easy conversations to have. Gordon was very uncomfortable with the ACP conversations initially, so Ann slowly began to open the door by including ACP as a part of their dinnertime conversations.

A family caregiver and the gift of conversations: Della’s Story

Della is a palliative care nurse with over 25 years’ experience in British Columbia with a wealth of palliative care knowledge and expertise. She is also navigating through a unique situation – she is a caregiver for both her father and her sister. For Della, advance care planning conversations are gifts that can create an even greater bond within our families. “These conversations equip us to support future decisions and brush away tensions and worries that might interfere with time and enjoying the present.”

Life happens when you least expect it: Jas’s story

In the few weeks between Halloween and Christmas in 2014, Jas’s life took a drastic turn when she was diagnosed with cancer. Always a go-getter and used to taking a leading role in her family and community, all of a sudden Jas was faced with telling her closely connected Punjabi-Canadian family, figuring out a way to talk – really talk – about what was ahead.

Walking the talk: advance care planning conversations get personal: Kathy’s story

Kathy and her family make a point of renewing their ACP conversations regularly. “We’re really on the same page when it comes to values and wishes. And when a health crisis comes, we’re not trying to establish common ground… we’ve already got it.”

Clarity during chaos: Russ & Karen’s story

Russ. He’s 58. Strong. Fit. Healthy. An avid skier and road cyclist. And then, one Wednesday, out of the blue – boom. He collapses. He doesn’t faint. He collapses. And that’s when his wife, Karen, starts getting the unexpected, life-changing calls. Ultimately, Karen knows there is no hope.
But Karen already had an incredible gift of love from her husband of nearly 33 years – a gift that enabled her to make a decision on his behalf without conflict or guilt: He had expressed his wishes to family and friends should something medically catastrophic happen. He had an advance care plan.

Lena and her advance care plan: Mom’s story

My mother died on January 29, 2017 at the age of 95. This story begins on her 90th birthday. We had been talking about Advance Care Planning for several years, and over that time she would often offer up an insight or a consideration. On her birthday, we settled down to make her plan. I got it into the hands of everyone I could think of, and we reviewed each year. In the end, Mom died exactly as she had wished.

My advance care plan: Eileen’s story

After years of procrastination and with my approaching 90th birthday, I have finally completed the paperwork for my Advance Care Plan! Since completing my plan, I am experiencing a huge sense of relief and peace.

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