Kerry’s Place Strategic Priority #1:

Anticipate and respond to the changing needs of persons living with ASD so as to provide a comprehensive continuum of service and support.

One of the action plans established to achieve this objective is to incorporate Advance Care Planning into our planning process

What is an Advance Care Plan?

An Advance Care Plan is a document that outlines a person’s values regarding their end-of-life care.  It ensures that a person’s wishes and beliefs concerning their care and wellbeing are known and understood, even if the person is no longer able to communicate these for themselves.

Why does a person need one?

It is common for a person nearing the end of their life to lose some or all of the ability to communicate. This time can be challenging, confusing and stressful for the people supported as well as their families, support staff and manager.

Preparing a plan in advance allows an opportunity for the person to really think about what they would want and also to process the concept of potentially becoming ill and end of life. Proactive planning also allows all parties involved to take a more objective outlook throughout their discussions. This would most likely be much more difficult for all involved in a circumstance where someone was facing a palliative diagnosis. Having a plan outlined beforehand can allow those who support the person to focus on their immediate needs and wants through this stage in their life and provide direct support to them.

For Kerry’s Place Autism Services, an advance care plan gives the people we support the tools to express their values, beliefs and wishes when it comes to end of life care. It allows us, as support professionals, to have a document that assists us in making decisions with the people we support, and knowing that we are providing care in a way that is meaningful and respectful to that person.

What will the process be like?

Kerry’s Place has created an interview process designed specifically to maximize the comfort and understanding of the people we support, while covering all the topics a comprehensive Advance Care Plan needs to address. It will be completed with the person supported, gathering information from their support circle as needed.

A Quality Outcomes Coordinator will help the person through every step of the process, at the time and location of the person’s choosing.  Anyone the person wishes to have with them is welcome to join the interview.  The person is not compelled to answer any questions that make them uncomfortable, and the interview process can be divided into as many visits as is necessary.  Generally, it takes between one and two hours to complete the interview, but the person being interviewed sets the pace and tone of the entire experience. We have tools and resources to support different communication styles. The person can always change their mind, the process will be available to them when and if they choose.  A copy of the interview questions is available by contacting the Quality Outcomes Coordinator.

When Does the Advance Care Plan take affect?

– When the person receives a diagnosis of a life limiting illness, or condition the Advance Care Plan will become a part of the care plan.
– When the person becomes ill and is unable to speak for themselves.

What happens to the Advance Care Plan once it is completed?

A copy will be placed in their support binder attached to their Individual Support Plan. An electronic version will be uploaded to Kerry’s Place Autism Services Database. The person will identify how often they wish to revisit the plan (recommended for annual review unless they choose not to or if their health status changes)

IT’S NEVER TOO EARLY TO START ADVANCE CARE PLANNING CONVERSATIONS

ANY QUESTIONS? PLEASE CONTACT…

Tammy Filsinger-Sproule
Quality Outcomes Coordinator
tammy.filsinger@nullkerrysplace.org
Cell: 519-278-4555