Taranaki DHB encourages giving the gift of ACP this Christmas

8 December 2017

With Christmas fast approaching, Waitara resident Makiterangi Matthews (Te Atiawa) has recently brought her whānau together to discuss her Christmas gift; an advanced care plan (ACP).

Taranaki DHB launched an Advance Care Planning campaign earlier this year to encourage people to start a conversation about planning for their future in regards to health care needs and end of life care.

At nearly 81 years of age Makiterangi is busy living life. She is still driving, heavily involved in her community and the best ‘nunny’ to her many moko. However, she is realistic that one day she may not be able to look after herself or may be in a situation where her whānau need to make some difficult health care decisions for her.

Makiterangi says “I want my tamariki to know what is important to me and that is why I am doing an advanced care plan. My whānau mean everything to me and I want to make sure I am not a burden on them, so having korero now will make future decisions easier.”

Claudia Matthews, Taranaki DHB’s ACP facilitator wants other whānau to consider giving their loved ones the gift of an ACP too. “Advance Care Planning gives people a chance to say what’s important to them when it comes to their healthcare. It’s done to make people feel better informed about future care and treatment choices. It involves korero and shared decision making with your whānau and healthcare workers about your wishes and health needs.”

“You cannot control when you get sick or how long for, but with advance care planning you can make sure your whānau, friends and healthcare workers know how to look after you, particularly if you can no longer speak for yourself.”

Makiterangi involved her whole whānau in the ACP process, relying on advice from her son Manu who has a background in health and counselling. Manu understands the benefits of having korero with his mother. He says, “It’s more than just following tikanga, it’s about wairua and answering those tricky patai. It actually started me thinking about my own life, but kei te pai we’ll sort mum first!”

There is no cost involved with creating an advanced care plan, Claudia explains “You don’t need a lawyer or a formal document to express your healthcare wishes; a simple conversation is actually best. Talking about advance care planning, end-of-life decisions and final wishes is never an easy conversation, but it does give your loved ones peace of mind and doesn’t cost a dime.”

Makiterangi says, “I feel blessed to have such a supportive and loving whānau who will respect my wishes; this is an important kaupapa for our people, we need to start having this korero now.”

For more information about ACP, visit www.advancecareplanning.org.nz, ask your GP or visit Te Roopu Kaumatua o Whai Tara.



For more information please call

Beth Findlay-Heath
Communications Advisor
021 665 017


Last updated: Thursday, January 11, 2018

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