(Nairobi, Kenya) – Sure, your Facebook status is interesting. But what about your health care status?

April 16th is National Advance Care Planning Day, a day to share your wishes for future health care, and to name a Substitute Decision Maker, someone who can speak for you if you couldn’t speak for yourself.  It can mean the difference between the care you want and the care you might receive. Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care Association (KEHPCA) has numerous resources to help individuals and families make a plan on our website, www.kehpca.org.

An Advance Care Plan can help you describe what would be important for you if you were ill and unable to communicate – such as the kind of care you would want to receive, the medical procedures that you may or may not want or fears you may have.

All palliative care sector stakeholders want to spread the word around about how advance care planning is for everyone – and Facebook is an excellent way to share the importance of planning with family and friends. “Your health status can change at any moment. It’s important to make your sure your voice can still be heard.”

KEHPCA recommends 5 steps for making an advance care plan:

1. THINK about what’s important to you

2.  LEARN about different medical procedures and what they can or can’t do

3. DECIDE on a substitute decision maker – someone who is willing and able to speak for you if you can’t speak for yourself

4.  TALK about your wishes with your loved ones

5.  RECORD your wishes – write them down or make a recording

The Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care Association (KEHPCA) website www.kehpca.org has a number of resources, including workbooks, information about legal aspects, accounts from care providers and videos, to help you make your plan.