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  • Build rapport/whakawhanaungatanga with the person – for more information about how to do this, see the serious illness conversations reference guide for health care professionals.
  • Acknowledge how this is difficult but it is important. If you are not face to face, acknowledge that this is not ideal.
  • Work through the Serious Illness Conversation Guide, stick to the order of the conversation prompts and, where possible, use the words in the guide to:
    • check their understanding of the situation
    • clarify any misunderstandings
    • share the prognosis
    • allow the person and/or their whānau the opportunity and space to respond, acknowledge their emotions, pause…
    • explore what the patient's/resident's priorities and worries are
    • summarise what you heard and shared
    • share a recommendation or propose a plan.

COVID-19 community response – resources

Older adults, and those living with chronic or life-limiting conditions, are at increased risk of experiencing severe or critical symptoms associated with COVID-19 infection and are more likely to die. They may also experience non-COVID-19-related deterioration in their health status during this period. Advance care planning is critical for this cohort and should form a key part of our health system's COVID-19 community response.

In February 2022, Advance care planning guidance, specific to supporting people with COVID-19 in the community, was developed for health practitioners. The guidance is on the Ministry of Health website, and aims to support conversations and planning with people at higher risk of deterioration while isolating in the community.

In addition, there are resources to support consumers and their whānau to prepare to have conversations if they contract COVID-19 and are isolating in the community. The consumer resources can be found here.


Related resources

Last updated: 2nd December, 2021