Monday 3rd April 2017

Having That Conversation That Counts

One healthcare professional is walking the talk of her new role as she engages in a 'conversation that counts' with her ageing mum.

Ellen Fisher wants people to discuss their future health needs and - as the Bay of Plenty District Health Board's (BOPDHB) new Future Care Planning (FCP) Implementation Manager - is taking the job personally by guiding her 81-year-old mother Judy through the process.

Ellen says one of her goals is to heighten awareness ahead of the national future care planning event, Conversations That Count Day, on Wednesday 5 April.

"My dad, Charlie, died 13 years ago and he didn't do any of this type of thinking whereas mum is really active about what she wants, she's already organised her funeral for example. But the missing bit was what happens if she's dying, what are her decisions around her healthcare," says Ellen.

"Future care planning gives people a chance to say what's important to them and what treatment they would and would not want in the future. It also helps them, their families and their healthcare teams, plan for future and end of life care.

"It gives you a sense of control and there is peace of mind in that. It's a good feeling that people know what you want and it's there on the table. And they're not set in stone, that's the beauty of them. If you change your mind it's just a matter of sharing those changes with your GP and your family," she says.

Ellen, her mum, and sister have now all completed their respective FCPs and she warned against people putting theirs off.

"It's like making your will we all know we've got to do it but it's getting round to it. Put a date on it. I'm going to have this done by the end of April say. Make time for it and have those conversations with your family/whānau and GP."

For more details visit or download a FCP from the BOPDHB website:

Anyone with questions can contact Ellen on 07 557 5355 or email:

BOPDHB Future Care Planning Implementation Manager Ellen Fisher (left) with her 81-year-old mother Judy (right) discussing future care planning.


James Fuller
Communications Advisor
Bay of Plenty District Health Board

Last updated: April 12, 2017