Advance Care Planning

Advance Care Planning

None of us really like to think about being incapable of making decisions regarding our care because of a serious accident or illness, but the truth is we never know when something could happen to render us unable to make decisions for our own selves.

Planning for such an event is imperative so you will be able to make your wishes and instructions for your future health care known, provide your health care team with information to guide them in your care and so you can ease the burden on your loved ones during a difficult time.

By having conversations with a close family member, friend or healthcare worker, you can express your wishes should something happen to you.

Recording your wishes and instructions for your care should you become unable at some point to make these decisions yourself, means creating an Advance Care Plan.

It is important these instructions are recorded so there is a record of your beliefs, values, and wishes. During a time when emotions are heightened, it can become difficult for family members, or friends to make tough decisions regarding your healthcare.

Advance Care Planning involves making a list of the persons who qualify to make decisions on your behalf also known as Temporary Substitute Decision Makers (TDSM). If you are a resident of British Columbia the order is already set according to B.C. Law as follows:

  1. Your spouse
  2. Your son or daughter (19 or older and in any birth order)
  3. Your parent (either and includes adoptive)
  4. Your brother or sister (any birth order)
  5. A grandparent
  6. A grandchild
  7. Anyone else related to you by birth or adoption
  8. Your close friend
  9. A person immediately related by marriage

When creating your Advance Care Plan you can include the following:

Enduring Power of Attorney – Someone you appoint to make decisions regarding your business, property, and financial affairs. This person’s role begins should you become unable to make decisions for yourself.

Advance Directive Your instructions given to your health care provider which hey must follow regarding the care you are in need of at the time.

Representation Agreement (RA) – This is where you write your instructions and specifically name someone who will make your health and personal care decisions if you are incapable. There are two types of Representation Agreements. The first, Section 9, or an Enhanced Representation Agreement allows for the person named to make decisions regarding life support. The second, Section 7, or a Standard Representation Agreement does not allow the person named to make decisions regarding life support.

These decisions can be very difficult to make, but it will be far better for both you and your loved ones should there become a time to put your Advance Care Plan into action.

You can download  My Voice: Advance Care Guide, which is very in depth. Along with a lot of information, the guide also includes the following forms:

My Advance Care Plan

My Advance Care Plan – Summary

My Temporary Substitute Decision Maker (TSDM) List

My Beliefs, Values, and Wishes

My Representative: Standard (RA 7) and Enhanced Agreements (RA 9) Representation Agreement (Section 7)

Form 1: Certificate of Representative or Alternate Representative

Form 2: Certificate of Monitor

Form 3: Certificate of Person Signing for the Adult

Form 4: Certificate of Witnesses

Representation Agreement (Section 9)

My Advance Directive


Wallet Card

We encourage you to take steps today regarding Advance Care Planning, not only for aging loved ones but for yourself too. The time is now.


Additional Resources Regarding Advance Care Planning:

Advance Care Planning Five Steps  (Video)

Advance Care Planning Fraser Health (Video)

Dr. Richard Raymond (Video)

Northern Health

Fraser Health

Health Link BC

My Voice: Advance Care Planning Guide (including forms)