Mercy Health hosts a conversation to care about

Hume Medicare Local’s Jacki Eckert, Mercy Health volunteer co-ordinator Louisa Thompson and Mercy Health volunteer Gordon Robison discuss advance care planning. Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICK

Hume Medicare Local’s Jacki Eckert, Mercy Health volunteer co-ordinator Louisa Thompson and Mercy Health volunteer Gordon Robison discuss advance care planning. Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICK

IF you were suddenly lying in a hospital bed in a coma, would your family or someone close to you know your medical wishes?

Two community for-ums this week aim to normalise the conversation around “advance care planning” at a time when a patient is receiving treatment for an illness or injury but is unable to make their own decisions.

A group of volunteers from Mercy Health Albury will host the forums, which are supported by a working group facilitated by Hume Medicare Local.

“We need to normalise this conversation, it needs to be like just another decision we need to make,” Mercy Health volunteer co-ordinator Louisa Thompson said.

“It’s also a conversation that everyone should have — no matter their age or their health.

“What happens to the young footballer who becomes a quadriplegic or those going out on the town who experience a king hit?”

Mercy Health volunteer Gordon Robison said the conversations were also a chance for people to say who they didn’t want making decisions on their behalf.

Residents are being asked to appoint a substitute decision maker, communicate with those involved in their life and medical care, as well as document the information and instructions the will help decide and guide future care.

Yarrawonga doctor Margi Gould will be one of four speakers.

“Advance care planning is all about communication and being prepared,” she said.

“It’s much easier for our family and loved ones to accept and make treatment decisions if they know what we would have chosen for ourselves.”

The free forums will be held on Wednesday, between 1.30pm and 3.30pm and 7pm to 9pm in the Stanley Room at the Commercial Club Albury.

To reserve a place phone 0416 758 624.

Those who can’t attend can visit the Hume Medicare Local website for more information.

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