CWCC Advance Care Planning Seminar: Ensuring Autonomy and Dignity in Later Life

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Chung Wah Community Care (CWCC) recently partnered with Dr. Ruth Wei, a board member of Palliative Care WA, to host an Advance Care Planning seminar at the Willetton Community Hub. The seminar aimed to help seniors reflect on their quality of life and improve their ability to participate in medical decisions in a culturally appropriate manner.

Dr. Wei, with her expertise and dedication, provided an in-depth introduction to the concept of Advance Care Planning. This approach allows individuals to define their preferences for medical care, caregiving, and lifestyle while they are still capable. It ensures that their personal wishes are respected and implemented, relieving family pressure and avoiding overtreatment, thereby improving quality of life. Her role is truly commendable and deserves our respect and appreciation.

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Dr. Wei faced objections during her talks four years ago, but there was a noticeable shift in attitude in the recent seminar. Many seniors and caregivers attended, signifying a significant change in how seniors approach end-of-life matters, a positive impact of CWCC’s efforts. This is a hopeful sign for the future.

Mrs Fu, a senior who learned about the concept through CWCC's seminar, established her Advance Care Plan with CWCC's help. She believes that death itself is not frightening; what people fear is the process of dying due to the unpredictable and uncontrollable nature of diseases and accidents. However, one can enhance one's quality of life by managing internal factors such as one's body and emotions and aligning with personal values and lifestyle.

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Mrs Fu shared that creating her Advance Care Plan allowed her to achieve "ultimate freedom" in life, meaning the autonomy to decide all matters and express and fulfil her life preferences. She candidly expressed that her current state makes her "truly happy" and "full of hope." At the CWCC Willetton Community Hub, Mrs Fu enjoys chatting with friends, participating in exercises, and playing mahjong, which is her ideal way of spending her later years.

CWCC continues to provide seniors with essential knowledge and a familiar cultural environment, enabling them to discuss their thoughts and needs comfortably. This support ensures a more autonomous and dignified later life, making the seniors feel reassured and cared for.          

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