More than 50 people attended our Mosman July 10 Q&A session at Mosman Seniors Centre last week.
Questions started quickly and they focused around advance care directives. This is not surprising.
One woman explained that she had her advance care directive lodged with her GP. Those in the room asked if this is a good arrangement.
Well, it’s okay. But consider this scenario, a slight variation on the one we discussed in the room that day.
Say you step out to take the dog for a walk at the local park. You are elderly but, so far, fit and healthy. On your way you grab your phone, your wallet and your keys. But while you’re there you have a medical incident. You fall and you are unconscious and you’re taken in that state to the hospital, by ambulance. You haven’t been in a major accident, but you are still unconscious by the time you arrive at hospital.
No-one at this stage knows who your GP is because her name is on a piece of paper on the fridge but not in your wallet.
In this situation people won’t know what your wishes are, for example, about whether you wish to be revived if you have heart attack. Sometimes, after a significant unexplained yet major health incident a heart attack does occur.
We discussed this scenario at length.
A great suggestion from the audience was that you should have a little card in your wallet stating how to access your advance care plan. In this case, you would have the name of your GP in your wallet.
But this is still pretty clunky. Time is of the essence but will I get through? How long will it take to explain? Will the GP be in and will they take my call?
Many people these days are carrying just their phone and its wallet systems. While this means your advance care directive can be stored electronically, can it be easily accessed if you are in an emergency?
There’s so much to discuss.
And while I’m here, thank you to our terrific sponsors. Apart from helping to cover costs, they are sharing their wisdom and spreading the word about these events.
Autonomy First Lawyers , Flourix Wealth, Grief Care, Personal Farewells Funeral Services and The Mater Hospital North Sydney were the wonderful sponsors for our Mosman event.
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