Background While advance care planning (ACP) policy implementation in the healthcare sector has had a moderate impact, we postulate greater uptake if a life journey and asset-based approach is taken to embed ACP into the social fabric. Within an individual’s life journey, milestone events and routine touchpoints (e.g., driver’s license, first home, retirement) serve as opportunities for ACP messaging. Coupling ACP with other planning activities may increase the likelihood of completing ACP. By using an asset-based approach we frame health, finances, and estates as important individual assets to plan for and protect.
Methods Members of the public; professionals from the healthcare, legal, financial, and social services sectors; policymakers; researchers; and representatives of community organizations collaborated through a working group and advisory committee. A structured analysis on the assets an individual possesses, opportunities for planning that occur within the life journey, and essential Alberta-specific documentation and processes for life planning were considered. The feedback gathered from these meetings contributed to the development of infographics that illustrate these concepts.
Results Two infographics were developed. The Life Journey Map graphic captures important moments in one’s life that provide opportunities to consider planning for the future. The Life Planning graphic showcases the important three assets an individual possesses: health, finances and estates and highlights the essential documents needed to plan for and protect these assets.
Conclusion To improve uptake of ACP with the public, an innovative approach is needed to re-think how ACP is messaged. By utilizing a life journey and asset-based approach, we can message the importance of ACP earlier in life and to a wider audience beyond a healthcare setting. The next steps are incorporating these concepts into our website called CompassionateAlberta.ca and evaluating impact.
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