5:30 p.m., Sept. 17)
OutCare Foundation, CARP Ottawa promote advance care planning
By Fred Sherwin
Ontario's primary palliative care advocate and Ottawa's
leading voice for retired people have joined forces
to promote the importance of advance care planning.
Ottawa chapter of the Canadian Association of Retired
People, otherwise known as CARP, recently invited the
OutCare Foundation and its vice-chair Sharon Carstairs
to speak to a gathering of its members about this issue.
care planning encompasses a number of factors, starting
with the need to have an up-to-date will, regardless of
having an up-to-date will is not enough on its own, you
should also select an executor who will see to it that
your will is adhered to, and you should appoint someone
who will possesss the Power of Attorney for your finances
and your personal care should you become either mentally
or physically incapacitated.
experts agree that your executor and the person with the
Power of Attorney over your finances should be the same
person. That person can either be a family member, a close
friend, a lawyer or other professional such as an accountant
or financial advisor.
you do not have any of the above, you risk putting your
family members in a potentially difficult situation should
you become incapacitated, or pass away. It also means
that any wishes you may have, might not be carried out
unless they are wrtten down and notarized.
people understand the need for a will and selecting an
executor, but often leave the issue of who will hold the Power of Attorney
until it's too late. The person giving the financial Power of Attorney
must make decisions on your personal finances including making
sure any bills are paid and the management of your assets.
Power of Attorney over your personal care is potentially
the most important appointment of all. It is their responsibilty
to make sure your wishes are adhered to including whether,
or not you want to be resuscitated should or kept on life
support should it come to that.
you do not wish to be resuscitated or kept on life support,
you need to express that wish to the person holding the
Power of Attorney for your personal care and you should
both be on the same page.
issues that can be addressed through advance care planning is
whether or not you want to die at home, and your funeral arrangements.
Nothing shoud be left up to interpretation, or possible debate
between your loved ones, especially at a time when they must
deal with their own grief.
simple step anyone one can take is to make a list of your
passwords and PIN numbers and put them in a book for your
loved in case you become incapacitated or potentially
die. It can be as simple as writting down the combination
to a safe, or where you keep the keys to your safety deposit
the reason, it's never too late, or too early, to plan
for the future, especially when it comes to your personal
wishes and ensuring that they are looked after once you
are no longer capable of looking after them yourself.
of mind is a luxury that an be enjoyed by the entire family
with proper advance care planning.
get started on your Advance Care Plan visit http://www.myspeakupplan.ca.
more information on the OutCare Foundation and the important
work they do visit http://outcarefoundation.org/.
to learn more about CARP Ottawa visit http://www.carp.ca/about-carp/.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)