What’s In a Name?

Imagine: A serious car accident. A stroke. A nasty fall down the stairs. A life threatening diagnosis. You can’t communicate. We hear about these incidents every day. What if they happened to you, or to someone you love? Unexpected events such as these can happen to any of us regardless of our age.


It’s hard to imagine or to think about ourselves or loved ones being seriously ill or unable to speak – and yet, every day, many of us find ourselves or our loved ones in this situation. If it happened to you, are you prepared? Have you made a plan and shared it with those who could speak on your behalf?


For some, naming this person might seem like an easy, obvious choice- for example you automatically think of a spouse, a sibling or an adult child. For others, it may not be so obvious or easy. You need to ask yourself who can make the best medical decisions for you when you are no longer able to do so during such a difficult time.


Here are some questions you may want to ask yourself when choosing someone to speak up for you if you can’t speak for yourself:


  • Who do I feel comfortable talking to?
  • Who would respect and follow my wishes?
  • Who would be comfortable speaking up for me?
  • Who is physically/emotionally capable of speaking up for me?


Research has shown that advance care planning significantly reduces stress, depression and anxiety in your family and loved ones who know your wishes and can act with confidence on your behalf. Taking the time to have these important conversations is a gift of love.


If you would like more information and assistance on how to work through these questions and develop an Advance Care Plan, the Comox Valley Hospice Society offers workshops to do just that. An introductory session will be held on Monday September 15th from 7:00 – 9:00pm at Berwick Comox Valley, 1700 Comox Avenue.  Participants will receive a copy of the BC Ministry of Health’s MY VOICE GuideRSVP to 250.339.5533.