“We may not have the opportunity to share about our care wishes but we are now able do so through Advance Care Planning. ACP provides an opportunity for us to express our preferences on how we wish to be cared for in our later years. It can include a simple written request like the place where you would like to receive care should you become seriously ill in the future.
Having done my ACP, I feel more at ease. I know I need not worry about burdening my family to make the difficult decisions on my behalf. I am assured that my family will not be in conflict when I am unable to articulate my decisions. I strongly encourage everyone to do ACP as early as possible.”
~ Mdm Margaret Soh, ACP Advocate & caregiver
If you are sick or injured and cannot make your own decisions about treatment, your family may be asked to discuss treatment options with the medical team on your behalf.
These include decisions about withdrawing or withholding invasive treatments, such as artificial modes of ventilation that can keep you alive with no benefit to your health status or quality of life.
Without knowing your wishes, your loved ones would have difficulty communicating your preferences to the doctors. Conflicts between family members often arise in such stressful situations when medical decisions often need to be made urgently.
ACP helps to relieve the stress and burden of decision-making from the patient’s family members. Having the ACP discussion helps family members understand the patient’s wishes and communicate the type of care that is in their best interest.
It allows for a better understanding of what living well means to the patient and what treatment they would have chosen for themselves knowing that they are unlikely to recover. With an ACP, healthcare providers can deliver care that is appropriate and in line with the patient’s preferences.
QUESTIONS FOR CAREGIVERS
Similarly, if you are a caregiver, do you know what’s most important to your loved one in terms of her/ his personal and health care? Do you know the answers to the following questions:
1. What makes his/ her day meaningful?
2. What are his/ her health condition and goals of care?
Knowing how your loved one feels about his/ her health and life is the first step in helping them plan for their future care.
GETTING STARTED ON ACP
ACP can be done in 5 simple steps:
1. Initiate the conversation and share with your loved ones about how ACP can benefit one another.
You can use the Living Matters Workbook as a conversation starter to broach the topic.
2. If your loved one or you are keen to explore ACP, you can make an appointment with your healthcare provider to explore the care options and continue the discussion with a trained ACP facilitator.
*An ACP facilitator is a trained healthcare professional who can help individuals and their loved ones navigate the discussion.
If you are generally healthy and not receiving care at any healthcare institution, you may also approach community providers such as Lifepoint and KTPH Wellness Kampung to find out more information.
Note: Charges may apply.
3. Think of someone who can be your nominated healthcare spokesperson (NHS) – someone whom you trust and can be your voice when you are not able to speak up about your care.
4. ACP is an ongoing process and wishes can be changed or updated at any time. After completing your ACP, you are reminded to review the wishes and preferences documented in ACP document when his or her medical condition or life circumstances change.
THE BENEFITS OF ACP
Here is an illustration of how Mr Tan and his loved ones have benefitted from ACP
ACP FAQs to learn more about the details of the ACP process.
WHO TO CONTACT
To find out more about ACP, please contact:
ACP National Office
Agency for Integrated Care
Tel: 1800-650-6060 Fax: +65 6820 0728