‘What Matters to Me’ and Advance Care Planning

You may have heard the term Advance Care Planning (ACP). ACP has gained acceptance in healthcare as a way of determining people’s wishes at end of life. The focus of ACP is usually on where you want to die or whether you want treatment if your heart stops. Often ACP conversations take place hurriedly when it is almost too late. Sadly, this was a recent experience in some nursing homes. All rather depressing, especially when for many of us living well until the end is the most important. Interestingly, many healthcare professionals do not have an ACP in place.

By comparison, ‘What matters to me’ conversations are something much more positive and less scary. They are lifelong and may occur spontaneously after watching something on TV, looking at picture or in response to life events. When appropriate, talking about how you would like your end to be can be introduced as a natural part of living. Do you want to be at home with music, candles, and your cat on the bed? For many, bringing these topics up can be a relief.

In other words, ACP is one small part of ‘What Matters to Me’ We are not seeking to replace ACP but to promote a social movement which encourages a series of conversations about living. To that end we have developed a simple ‘What Matters Most’ Charter (see below) and a short film ‘What Matters to You”(click link below)

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